Magazine article American Libraries

Trustees Nix Ban on Unattended Minors

Magazine article American Libraries

Trustees Nix Ban on Unattended Minors

Article excerpt

The board of the Bedford Park (Ill.) Library District responded September 11 to a year's worth of pressure from a group of disgruntled parents by scrapping a year-old policy that barred visitors under 16 after 3 p.m. unless they are cardholders, students of the nearby Walker Elementary School in Bridgeview, or accompanied by someone 18 or older. The policy mostly affected Bridgeview children who do not attend Walker; the town, which is outside the library's service area, is where several youngsters who are suspected of vandalizing the library last year reside.

Library Director Anne Murphy told American Libraries that parents of non-Bedford Park children now need only accompany their youngsters once to register them as after-school users. Board Vice President Jim Janchenko said in the August 15 Chicago Daily Southtown that trustees resorted to the original restriction after staffers were unable to catch the vandals redhanded and the board had rejected the options of adding security guards or surveillance cameras.

The parents of children most affected by the ban had last voiced their frustrations at the board's August 14 meeting, the Southtown reported. "I hope you guys really do some soul-searching," said Bridgeview village board member Joe Kaput, who is the father of a six-year-old. …

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