Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Lock the Library! Rowdy Students Are Taking Over

This is horrible. This article in the NY Times covers the plight of Maplewood Memorial Library that has a problem . . . too many teens coming after school. How is this a problem, you ask? Well, apparently the rowdy latch-key kids come to socialize, etc. So what is the library's response? They are now closing on weekdays from 2:45 to 5 p.m, thus forcing the kids to find alternate hangouts on the street.

The controversy does cover a few good points, like "a dearth of 'third places' — neither home nor school — where kids can be kids." It also mentions the double standard we sometimes apply to today's teens:

If there are little kids making noise, it’s cute, and they can run around, it’s O.K.,” Ms. Braun said of standard library operating procedure. “Or if seniors with hearing difficulties are talking loudly, that’s accepted. But a teen who might talk loudly for a minute or two gets in trouble.
It just seems like a sorry state when libraries close to prevent kids from coming after school.

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