Wickliffe Library Bans Unaccompanied Kids
Wickliffe Public Library in suburban Cleveland requires that students under 14 be chaperoned between 2:30 and 5:30 p.m. on weekdays because of loitering and vandalism.Loitering in Libraries! Those always were the worse kids in my school :-)
Although trying to keep kids quiet in libraries is always a chore, Wickliffe may be the only one in Ohio that requires chaperones, said Lynda Murray, lobbyist for the Ohio Library Council.Is this library right across from the school or have some other extreme circumstance for unusual preteen activity? Even if it is, This just seems like a bad way to handle what seems to be a minor inconvienence.
"I don't know of any other libraries that have taken that step. I'm not aware that it's a growing problem," Murray said Saturday.
Parents at the Wickliffe library on Friday had mixed feelings about the policy.
"I don't see how you can restrict a public library," said Kim Moulton, who has two young children. "It is our library, not theirs. We pay for it. I understand there is a limit, but I think they may have overreacted. Kids are kids. I grew up here and went to the library after school because it was a safe place."
Other Ohio libraries have turned to less severe methods to control rowdy behavior.These seem like better ideas. In the end, Wickliffe is probably blocking library access to thier future and sending thier children to the streets or an empty home. Seems like this rule is going cause more problems than it solves in the long run.
Euclid Public Library keeps crowds away by playing classical music through speakers outside the door. The library still pipes in Beethoven and Bach but has added a security guard after school to keep order.
"It is an added expense, but we found it helps us handle the situation," said Donna Perdzock, library director.
In Geauga County, library officials hire a monitor, usually a parent or retired teacher, to keep order.
Steve Wood, director of Cleveland Heights-University Heights libraries, said it has added youth programs. While the libraries still have occasional problems, the atmosphere has improved because librarians reach out to teens, he said.
"These are tomorrow's taxpayers," Wood said. "I want their support in the future."