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Warning: I am going to KILL the kids at the computer next to me at the library.


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Preface: I love just about everything about my library system. Beautiful building; excellent catalog; good service; the list goes on and on. What drives me crazy is the fact that during the couple of hours after school gets out, young people are allowed (imo) to behave like a bunch of disrespectful hellions. Gone are the days of the librarian "shushing" patrons, at least in this neck of the woods. These kids rush (literally) in here after school, gather in groups around the computers, and proceed to do who knows what at loud volume. (Footnote: Why am I subjecting myself to it? Good question! I usually try to avoid the library altogether during this time of day, but I'm passing time right now, wanted to check the boards, and am not compelled to get this off my chest in lieu of flat-out wringing their necks.)

 

I have talked about this at length with the powers that be here at this library branch and beyond. The mantra these days is, "We can't favor (or not) some guests over others." In other words, if kids have Internet cards that allow them free reign here at the library, so be it. If kids are being rude and noisy and someone (read: me) complains to the librarians, they then have some "leverage" to approach the kids and ask them to keep it down. But they (the librarians) are so docile it doesn't do a thing. Case in point: Ten minutes ago I asked this group next to me to keep it down. They laughed in my face, of course. I asked a librarian to ask them to keep it down. She did, in her very nice manner. After which she walked away, leaving them to be even more annoying and make comments about me such as, "That lady's havin' her f---ing period."

 

Lovely. What these kids don't know is that I can NOT be intimidated. Doesn't work. If they happen to jump in front of my car when I'm pulling out of the parking lot, so be it.:eek:

 

This place is just a zoo during this time of day and I really do believe more has to be done to assert some control. I'm going to have to go higher up the ladder in my complaints, but I already know it won't do any good. Harrumph.

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I hear you! We don't go to the library when public school is out. The kids are horrible! The librarian told me she cannot legally kick them out unless they start swearing. I did finally see some kids get kicked out for repeatedly yelling the f-bomb while laying on the bean bag in the children's area. :mad:

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Didja ever hear my story about the kid who spit toward me outside the library a couple of years ago? I had laid into him because he and his friends were mocking some elderly people. He was standing a couple of feet in front of me and spit in my direction. Without blinking an eye, I spit right back. As you'd expect, he went home and whined about it. They aren't used to getting as good as they give.;) I can't even imagine teaching a classroom with kids like this as students. Shudder. Bless the people who can tolerate them on a daily basis.

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Our library has a police officer at the building after school gets out. I am not sure how long he is there (I think until around 5pm or so?).

The library is right next to the high school so lots of kids are there doing homework, hanging out, accessing the web, etc.

There are quite a few kids, but they are well behaved from what I have seen when I have been in there at that time. But, they know that if they get out of line that something will be done.

I try not to go to the library when school lets out mainly because of the traffic and the number of people who are in the building at that time. I prefer when it is less busy because the building is not that big and I don't care for crowds.

I would talk to your librarians and see if this might be a possibility or maybe bring it up at a city council meeting.?

Good luck!

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It's so bad, that even though I love my library, I don't go there during after school hours. It's like a holding pen for wild animals between the hours of 3 and 6 pm. We even have to have a notice posted that says:

 

"Any children not picked up by library closing at 9 pm will be brought to the security office."

 

My librarians tell me that security has had to call the police a number of times, because little children were left there after 9, and didn't know their own phone number, how to get in touch with their parents, or anything.

 

Not to mention the disrespect. I've been called all sorts of names by these hooligans, and my dds have, too. After the last incident of a cluster of them gathering around my dd while she was on the computer, me telling them to *back up*, and getting called names, I don't trust myself.

 

I have complained and gone to the top, but I've been given the excuse that there is nothing they can do - they can't kick them out unless they're really rowdy. The librarians will shush them, and call security if necessary. The security guard will then come over and tell them to 'pipe down' - which they do, until he's gone. Then a complete repeat of the whole scenario plays out. They don't really want to kick them out, because then they'll be on the street until 9 pm (or whenever their parents decide to fetch them).

 

I think they should charge for babysitting, frankly. And stick 'em all in the basement. With duct tape on their mouths.

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with glass DOORS on it -- they're hoping to pen them in and keep the noise level down in the rest of the library! Just kidding. I didn't realize things could get that bad. Before it closed down for renovations, our local library was quiet, and the noisiest part of it was the children's section. Even the older children and teens were busy with their research. I never saw them socializing.

 

Sorry to hear about your beautiful library being treated so poorly. It would make me very angry, too. It's too bad the powers that be in your town have such low behavioral expectations for teens.

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I really don't like at all going to the library, especially when the school kiddos get there. Yikes! Hang in there. I do know what you are going through. I was a school bus driver at one point and talk about not being able to do any thing, my hands were tied, and it was absolutely useless to write up and complain about anything. :-(

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That's a problem in my town too.

The library is across the street from the (enormous) middle school. When school lets out the kids go pouring across the street to hang out in the library. About a year ago they had to hire a security guard just to keep the kids under control.

 

I won't go there at that time of day because I know I will throttle one.

 

A few weeks ago my family went there on a Saturday afternoon and I was hanging out in the children's area with my kids. They have these big couches that are shaped like books and pencils and so on, and here was this kid, running back and forth on the furniture--jumping from piece to piece. I just stood there glaring at him, looking around for a parent. Finally I saw his dad, but he was too busy looking at cds to get his kid to stop running on the furniture.

 

I called over a library worker, but she was very hesitant to say anything. The kid was like 5 years old!!!! By the time she got up the nerve to approach him, my glaring and mouthing "stop it" made him go over to his dad. I think he thought I was going to go and move him physically because he went and stood right next to the dad until it was time to go.

 

Brat.

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My teens both work at our local, very small branch. (Big system but we're close to one of the smallest branches) The librarians know everyone by name and don't hesitate to kick the kids out if they're unruly.

 

And the best time to go is during the school hours as there's no kids hanging out there at the free babysitter!

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Gosh, y'all...at least they're reading. :rolleyes: I so feel for you, though.

 

Our local hooligans are pretty quiet (read: they just don't hang at the library). ;) My local branch is small, however, I do become disheartened when my family is the only one in the stacks while the computers are full. How sad is that?

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I know some libraries have policies that state one person per computer which means no gathering around the computers. And they mean it - they will kick you off the computer. Please, ask the library's governance to implement such a policy before you resort to violence against the tiny offenders. :D

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Doesn't it seem sad, if not frightening, that kids today can be this inconsiderate to others and can cause this much noise and disruption.... and all the adults in the vicinity can't do anything to get them in line? Not even their own parents?!? Even a security guard is only effective as long as he's standing right there?

 

It sounds like the only libraries successful in controlling bad behavior are those where there is a consequence for misbehavior in the form of no computer access the next day.

 

And why is it that this usually happens in the computer area? Do computers attract less considerate kids? Or is it the interacting with computers that brings out the worst in kids?

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I can understand your pain. We have started going to our tiny local library for chess every Thursday night, and every week it's the same--the computers full of teens. I was muttering about free babysitting just last week. Fortunately, they're not too unruly, but they are there ALL EVENING until the library closes. And I bet they are there every day. And no one is in the stacks. No one is picking up a book. Uggghhhh. I don't think this is what libraries were envisioned to be!

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If all you wanna do is sit around in your underwear all day and play Guitar Hero, but your parents are all "put on your clothes, do your homework, take out the trash," maybe the best response is to tell them you're going to the library. :cool:

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We also only go to the library when PS is in session. No rude children to give my kids bad ideas.

 

Our library is great but is in a medium size city and is in a downtown like area. Because of this it attracts lots of homeless people. Also, periodicly, the local newspaper has run interviews/stories of recently released felons (murderers). Their favorite place? Our local library.

 

Our children stay where we can see them.

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I rarely go to our library as they are only open late one night and we have no car during the day. When our internet was down I dragged my laptop there and I couldn't believe how dead it was on the one night they were open.

 

I was prepared for a crowd, but no one. I'm not sure what that says about education in this town.

 

My much bolder self would have told those kids "You haven't seen PMS, yet."

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ok gals-- i have a question.....

 

what if you just *happened* to have some really foul-smelling stuff in a small vial in your purse/pocket, and it just *happened* to be missing a lid, and you just *accidentally* bumped into these kids and spilled this vile vial all over their sweet personalities??

 

so WHAT wonderfully odorous stuff could BE in this vial? besides watered down dog carp?? ideas?

 

:D

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It would be the thing that leads to me getting shot in the parking lot.

 

I'd rather avoid the library for three hours a day rather than get put on a hit list, thank you. These are not the regular library patrons, but it is near a school that is pretty gang-infested.

 

I'm afraid to mess with these kids too much.

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If it is that bad, there are going to be a lot of others feeling the same way. Write an article for the opinion page in your newspaper. It might get some discussion going. You can also contact the library board.

 

Good luck.

 

I think Jean has a great idea.

 

Our library is not great in terms of resources, but at least the librarians still "shush" us all (not just me and the four boys). But, our library is not close to a local school either ...

 

What a shame. I grew up in a three towns where our library was a haven from all things loud and obnoxious (back when I WAS a loud obnoxious, voracious-reading teenager).

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ok gals-- i have a question.....

 

what if you just *happened* to have some really foul-smelling stuff in a small vial in your purse/pocket, and it just *happened* to be missing a lid, and you just *accidentally* bumped into these kids and spilled this vile vial all over their sweet personalities??

 

so WHAT wonderfully odorous stuff could BE in this vial? besides watered down dog carp?? ideas?

 

:D

 

Nasty woman, are you talking about ammonium sulfide by chance? I don't think Colleen is willing to get banned from the library for life, but wouldn't it be fun to go out in a blaze of glory?

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My library is the same way. Why are you there after school if you know it's going to be this way?

 

As I said originally, I usually avoid the library altogether during that time of day. When I posted, I was passing time because my son was at an activity just down the block and I had finished running. I'm typically at the library in the mornings or evenings.

 

I've spoken with and written to library directors about the problem and plan to do so again. I don't believe writing to the editor will be particularly effective; I need to work directly with the library administration. At a minimum, I am trying to have them limit patrons from gathering in groups around computers. I don't think I or anyone else should feel compelled to avoid the library outright during after-school hours, kwim?

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I think the effectiveness of writing to the editor will simply help rile community support for your cause --esp if you call for a letter writing campaign. Don't forget you have the right to "peacebly assemble" --if you gather enough adults [not just moms] you can do that on library [public!] property and maybe pull in TV cameras...... The embarrassment to the library might be enough to help effect change. Collecting a list of policies from specific libraries can help --esp if they are libraries about the size of your own. Local is great, "round the coutnry will work too.

 

Good luck!!

I guess you don't wanna try my other idea eh? hee hee.......

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I think what has me so shocked by this episode is how rude they were to you.

 

It's disturbing, isn't it? I won't deny the fact that I was difficult as a young person ~ precocious, not as respectful of authority as I should have been. But to speak like this? I can't imagine ~ and I see no reason whatsoever why it should be tolerated in the library.

 

I think the libraries here in Seattle have a one person per computer policy, but perhaps it is just the KCLS. I hope you are able to get someone to make some changes.

 

I should find out what the policy is at other county library systems so I have that information when I next talk about the folks here. For the life of me, I can't understand why my tax dollars should support a group of kids hanging around a computer screen. Which brings up the whole issue of Internet access in general. These kind of problems multiplied ten-fold once the Internet became available. Groups of kids weren't sitting around being loud and disrespectful while thumbing through back issues of The Economist.;)

 

PS Nice to 'see' you again, Colleen! I miss you when I'm on one of my hiatuses...

 

Nice to see you, too! I took a break for a bit myself and I'm happy to see you on this new board.:)

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I have an idea.......

 

Gather a group of like-minded friends--at least one per library computer. Talk to the other patrons there during after school hours if you have trouble getting enough people. At least one should be a big, burly man. Go to the library a half hour before school lets out. Stake out the computers and STAY THERE. If there's a time limit, get other friends to get on the waiting list after the first set. Do it every day for a week and then offer to make a deal with the teen pack leader(s).

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And amazingly, that took care of it. It wasn't loud enough to be annoying unless you were trying to cut up with your friends...

 

But that library had a real dragon as the front desk clerk and she would escort kids to the door and tell them not to come back until they could behave.

 

I think what finally prompted some action was that someone who the kids were trying to intimidate called the police and they came and took them home in a squad car and explained the laws about curse and abuse.:cool:

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Our library has so many restrictions on the computers, it's hardly worth the trip. One person, one hour, no downloads. I guess that's why there aren't too many school kids there in the afternoons.

 

I have gone in the mornings and early afternoons and left early. Several times there were families of homeschoolers with very small children running around, screaming, yelling, pulling books off the shelves and throwing them on the floor. What were the parents doing? Giving me that, "Isn't she *adorable*??" look. No one was shushing them -- the librarian was an aunt or something.

 

Poorly behaved children are not limited to those who aren't being supervised and they aren't limited to those in public school, either.

 

I sometimes wonder if Mom knew how these kids had talked to you if she would be outraged or embarrassed. I would hope so, but I sincerely doubt it.

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Ditto on the restrictions of computer time and use at the libraries in our area as well. We are able to access the catalogues from home, so we do all the research before we leave the house.

 

I use a number of library's in my area (two different counties) and either seniors or some of our local homeless tend to monopolize the computers. Guess the kids in Atl, don't think the library is a cool place to hang. :p

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now they are all in there on the web checking their My Space and FaceBook and playing games. It got marginally better when they posted that only one person could use the computer at a time and they started paying for a police officer to be in there (they tried a private service, but the guard they had assigned was about half the size of the boys (and some of the girls) and couldn't speak English).

 

I thought about working in a library as a second career, but not any more. It is pretty awesome that the librarian (who is about 5 foot wearing heels) can stare most of these teen-aged boys down.

 

But I thought that it was only because our library was in a low-income area, many of the others in the system (in better parts of the county) are much quieter. It is a shame though, that our branch's budget must be spent on protection instead of books.

 

One time I was in there and the girl next to me was happily checking out everyone's MySpace. She and I had to keep re-signing up as the computer time is limited to 30 minutes. We had rotated through about 3 times on different machines when her mom came in to pick her up. She complained that she wasn't finished her homework research. Her mom wasn't pleased. I stopped the mom on her way out (without the girl whom she had told could have only one more session) and told her what had happened. She was hopping mad, went right back in and sat beside her daughter while she "finished" her research. There was no confrontation there but I haven't seen the girl on MySpace lately. I occasionally see the girl and luckily she seems never to have made the connection that I finked on her. I guess she thinks her mom reads minds. :D

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at two of the local libraries I go to. One is next to a huge middle school and the library is really not a fun (or safe) place to be after the school lets out. The other City library is better funded and run better, however, they are having a real problem with parents leaving their children there unattended. They have a sign that any children still there at closing by themselves, the police have to be called...and they do have to call fairly often, kids left there with no parents (even young kids!) I guess these parents forgot how to parent. :(

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  • 4 years later...

All I can say is wow! I'm in the library all the time and I've never seen unruly kids aside from the occasional toddler tantrum. Our library does not allow unattended kids under 12 I believe. You are also limited to one hour on the computer but most of the time I only see people using the computers to locate books or do work or research.

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