Update: Iowa City Public Library Bans Sleepers
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.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.