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Lock the Library! January 3, 2007

Posted by L Wolfe in Library Stuff.
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Here are a few thoughts sent by email from Jenny P. Great stuff!

Link: Alternative Teen Services blog

It seems that a library in Maplewood, New Jersey has decided to close its doors for the after-school hours, due to disciplinary problems caused by several young people. According to a New York Times article, some students “fight, urinate on the bathroom floor, scrawl graffiti on the walls, talk back to librarians or refuse to leave when asked. One recently threatened to burn down the branch library. Librarians call the police, sometimes twice a day.”

With all the talk of libraries reaching out to young people, could this be a possible negative result– that adults see the library as a child care center? Or are conflicts like these symptomatic of the library’s changing role? How will the library’s shutdown policy change its perception among the community?

Other bloggers on the subject:
Library Stuff
Tame the Web

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Comments»

1. DrumPhil - January 3, 2007

A local, small-town librarian told me that some parents routinely use the library as free after-school care for their kids. When a kid gets rowdy, the librarian has to show them the door, even if she knows that the kid has nowhere else to go. She has spoken to some parents about it, and has, on occasion, has to suspend borrowing privileges. This does annoy the kids, who want to check out movies, so it does act as a mild incentive. But the situation is far from perfect.

2. apenningster - January 3, 2007

Here’s a link to the message that the Maplewood Library Trustees posted about the closings…

http://www.maplewoodlibrary.org/message.htm

It really does sound like they’ve exhausted all their other options, but I guess it’s hard to know that for sure (from an outsider’s standpoint).
I honestly don’t know what I would do in this situation – it’s a very difficult situation indeed.

3. lcwk86 - January 21, 2007

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