May 24, 2022

Update: Iowa City Public Library Bans Sleepers

The following story updates an infoDOCKET post from January 15, 2013.

From the Iowa City Press Citizen:

The Iowa City Public Library Board of Trustees voted by a 6-1 margin Thursday night to implement a sleeping ban in the library. The ban, which has become part of the library’s official conduct policy, applies to all library patrons except attended children.

The policy change was recommended to the board by library staff in early January as a way to make the building more welcoming for all visitors, Library Director Susan Craig said. She said the matter was brought to the library’s attention after receiving several complaints from the public.


Board member Jay Semel said the ban is in no way a “war against the homeless” but that he felt like the library should be treated like other public buildings in town — such as the courthouse and the recreation center — which don’t generally have people sleeping in them. He said the library should be used as it originally was intended: as a resource for the public to expand its knowledge and as a place to meet.


Craig said instituting the ban is technically effective immediately, but it won’t be strictly enforced until the library staff has been properly trained.

See Also: Here’s the Full Text of the Sleeping Ban Proposal

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.