Wickliffe Public Library Bans Unsupervised Schoolchildren
A report from American Libraries Online chronicles the problems one northeastern Ohio public library is having with unsupervised school-age children. Wickliffe Public Library has taken the step of bannig visits between 2:30 and 5:30 p.m. from youngsters under 14 unless accompanied by an adult or enrolled in a library program. According to WPL clerk-treasurer Richard Zalecky, the ban stemmed from the weekday arrival of some 100 youngsters who have drawn graffiti on the building’s exterior as well as in its restrooms, and who intimidate library visitors by loitering in large groups near the facility’s entrance. “We had to escort some people out because they were afraid of the crowd,” Zalecky said in the January 7 Cleveland Plain Dealer. Reactions have been mixed, but perhaps the most astute comment was made by Cleveland Heights–University Heights Public Library Director Steve Wood when he said, "these are tomorrow's taxpayers." You might add that they will be voting on library levies as well.