Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Newport Beach Public Library's Policy Balancing Act

Link to December 26 Los Angeles Times article, "Newport Beach may tighten its library rules".

Excerpt:   That annoying person talking loudly on a cellphone may one day be barred from using the Newport Beach Public Library.

Librarians want new regulations that would allow them to discipline unruly patrons, and the Board of Library Trustees gave them the go-ahead Tuesday to draft penalties.

As a public space, libraries must balance the needs of orderly patrons with the reality that some people smell strongly, make too much noise or stay on the computers for too long. How to reprimand adults without impinging on their public benefits is now the challenge for city staffers.

"We want to maintain the environment so people can enjoy the library," said Tim Hetherton, library services manager. "At the same time, we want to make sure we're not abusing anyone's rights.

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