Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bemidji Public Library Policy Review

Bemidji Public Library discusses behavior, unattended children policies. (Bemidji Pioneer, 3/17/2011)

Excerpt: In his report to the board, Ericsson recounted a four-day period in which the police had to be called four times for help with public drunkenness, heated arguments and reports of assault.

Patrons also reported “aggressive panhandling” on the front sidewalk. Ericsson said those who declined to give money to panhandlers were “verbally accosted.”

Some comfortable seating and study tables have been removed from areas of the building that could not be seen clearly by staff, which reduced the problems. However, this also means responsible patrons no longer have a quiet reading space.

Ericsson has addressed the Bemidji City Council to explain the problem of disruptive behavior.

“Bringing it up at the last council meeting was very, very helpful,” said Mayor Dave Larson, who attended the library board meeting. “People are becoming aware of this situation. It’s unacceptable.”

Ericsson said he wanted to “let people know that the library has been dealing with this and will continue to deal with it.

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