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Saturday, January 07, 2006 

Wickliffe Library Bans Unaccompanied Kids

Hmmm... Yeah - we need to discourage kids from going to the library.
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.

"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."
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.
Other Ohio libraries have turned to less severe methods to control rowdy behavior.

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."
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.

More here.

I am a high school student at Wickliffe and I would go to the library after school when I was in middle school. It was a great thing, to be there surrounded by such resources until my mom got off work and picked me up.

However, the middle school students right now are not there for these resources. They're there for misc. reasons that have nothing to do with library. Some students may not fit this general statement, but the majority would act the same way somewhere else anyway. Might as well make the library a much more peaceful place after school and have them be someone else's responsibility for that period of time.

My grandparents said they and others were literally fearful of going to the library during this time of the day...because of those kids who practically took the library over.

I am and was good friends with many of the librarians...their jobs will and cannot be to baby sit, and even as a middle school student, I would've still gone along with this new rule if it had affected me...for the greater good of the library. Even if they hired someone else to baby sit, which would be tough to fit in the budget anyway, these kids do not respect authority and probably wouldn't listen. How many do you have to kick out of the library before they all get the idea? Well, they've been kicking them out for years and years and no one's seemed to get the idea...the library is not a playground or even hangout spot, it's a resource at our fingertips that we should respect and not take for granted. That means indulging in it and using it for more than a middle school soap opera.

People don't seem to understand how long the library has tried to use alternate solutions. It was time to take drastic measures...and I have no problem with these measures.

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