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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Library's New Policy Validates Age Discrimination - Children are More Than Their Age!

OK  Here we go again.  Not long ago I commented on the library security guard who over stepped his boundaries by incorrectly banning children under the age of twelve from exploring the library without a parent. (Even if that parent in nearby and aware of their child's location.)  His actions did not accurately enforce the existing library policy and failed to take into account a parent's right to determine if and when a child is capable of navigating the building.  Now the library has undertaken an enormous role in the community by expanding the building to include a business development/resource center.  The changes are visible when you walk through the front door and it is obvious that the changes will  indeed be of benefit to all who have access to the building.  Being able to come to the library with my children is something we look forward to as a family.  In the past we have been able to work together on our projects in the learning lab.  It is quiet and we can work on our journals, creative writing, and other educational programs in peace, whereas the common area tends to be a little more "animated" at times.  My children tend to get distracted if they do not have a quiet placed to focus, so the "Learning Lab" was perfect.  Imagine my disappointment and shock when I was advised of a "new policy" by a gentleman who supervises the Learning Lab.  He told me that "No Children under age 18" were allowed in that area!  Only one other person besides myself and the two boys were present.  My children were clearly not a disturbance and were looking forward to working on their projects.  The gentleman was polite and kind, but I cannot help but wonder the purpose of such a policy.  What on earth lead someone to make that decision?  We went to another area of the library that is in transition to locate computers.   Tonight it was quiet, but what if the next time the area is too much of a distraction?  The area is large, the lighting a bit different, and it does not have the same feeling as the small room.  Anyone with Attention Deficit Disorder can understand how this impacts one's ability to focus, concentrate, and enjoy the experience of learning.  I began to research age discrimination as it relates to children, and find it incomprehensible that our own community library would not recognize how their own policy negatively impacts our youth!  Here is an excellent link for you to consider.  I hope that other parents will comment and begin to recognize when your children are being marginalized and disrespected in the community!  It is up to us as parents to be more vocal advocates even when it may not be "popular" to do so.  Believe it when I tell you that your children are monitoring your words and actions.  They need to learn to stand up for themselves and make efforts toward positive change.  Ignoring just one act of intolerance and discrimination is not acceptable.  What will you do today to make this better?

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