howl's movie; and children's library policy

Ven vendersleighc at
Wed Nov 24 21:41:08 EST 2004

Deborah linked to:

> "In an attempt to make their children's areas 
more safe, Orange County
> (FL)
> libraries are no longer allowing adults without

children to loiter in
> its children's area. <snip>

and commented:

> I understand, I really do.  Sadly this is 
probably a good idea.  But!
> What does "loiter" mean?  I browse in 
children's libraries, looking for
> interesting books.  For me.  Does that count as


There was a recent thread on The Straight Dope
about  strange people who sometimes use libraries
for purposes other than reading and borrowing
books....... Although some were no trouble others
were actually disruptive to other library users
(from  smelling like Foul Ole Ron to random
shouting, harrassing and even assaulting people).
Apparently because libraries are public spaces
they don't "have the right to refuse entry" so it
can be difficult to exclude even people whose
behaviour is offensive. The OC policy sounds like
something to give childrens' librarians at least
some powers in this area. What I would hope is
that "loiter" in this context actually means  to
behave in some manner that is obviously
detrimental to others, rather than just to be an
adult in the proximity of children's books. As to
paedophiles, whether an adult is behaving in such
a way as to appear more interested in
"befriending" children than choosing books is
going to be a matter for the librarians'
instincts, possibly supplemented by complaints
from children and their parents. One can just
hope   that paranoia doesn't take over...........


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