Thursday, January 16, 2014

Come in, get out

I understand the stresses on libraries these days.
The budgets are tight. The needs are great.
But after my daughter (who currently has one hand in a cast) told me about getting all the kids ready for Storytime and then being turned away, I can't keep quiet.
She lives in Lehi and the kids love Storytime. They try to go every Thursday.
They enjoys the books, the DVDs, the activities and the library overall.
However, apparently everybody does so the library has instituted a policy requiring pre-registration.
One day a month, patrons in good standing can sign up online for the day and hour they plan to attend Storytime. They are asked to print out a ticket and bring it with them.
I'm assuming they're getting slammed so this is a way to control the numbers and make it possible to manage the crowds.
The problem is, nobody told my daughter until they arrived, full of eager anticipation, anxious to get in out of the cold.
Then a young guard stopped them at the door and said they couldn't go in without a printed ticket.
My daughter was surprised and dismayed.
The kids cried.
Even after my daughter explained her situation and pleaded for a little mercy "this first time" there was no wiggle room, no changing of the minds.
She was told to go home and come back with a ticket which is only a problem if she can't figure out how to predict when the baby might still be napping or one of her girls will be sick.
She needs to read the future with pretty good accuracy because the library also doesn't want anyone signing up and then not showing up.
The new policy seems unreasonable to me especially when their mission statement says “The Lehi Library will promote life-long learning for all patrons by creating a welcoming atmosphere where learning is encouraged.”
The new policy and the rigid enforcement feels like a contradiction to "welcoming."

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