Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Dallas Public Library draws criticism

Today's Library Link of the Day (Thanks Em!) reports on the Dallas Public Library's updated code of conduct, part of which will ban "distracting odors" from the library. Advocates charge that the policy unfairly targets the city's homeless and poor citizens.

Library Director Laurie Evans says the code had not been looked at in years and that "the rules are meant to address behaviors, not people, and are not an excuse to kick people out of the building." She adds that any violations will be addressed on a case-by-case basis and only when someone lodges a complaint.

Support for the policy has come from the incoming president of the American Library Association, Leslie Burger: "If people can't take care of basic hygiene and are disturbing to the 100 or so people around them, then it's perfectly acceptable for the library to say, 'Will you please sit somewhere else?' or 'Will you consider coming back another day?' "

Similar policies have been adopted throughout the country.

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