Library card cabinetThat’s the experience Advocate contributor Talya Boerner had this week, and she tells the story on her personal blog, Grace, Grits and Gardening. Boerner was working on a homework assignment for a children’s picture book writing course and had set up a study station in the Lakewood Library children’s section, when she was approached by “Librarian Lady,” as she puts it.

“LL: Do you have any kids?
Me: Yes. (Does she know my brilliant kids?)
LL: Where are they?
Me: One’s in college, one works for the Texas Legislature. (beaming proudly)
LL: You can’t be here. I’m going to have to ask you to leave.
Me: Wait, what?
LL: You can’t be in the children’s section of the library without kids.
Me:  Really? Why? (There was not one single solitary person in the children’s area which comprised one-third of the library.)
LL: You can take your time leaving.”

Boerner, stunned, wondered what her crime had been. “Is this normal library policy nowadays? Did she think I was some type of perv, loitering in the kiddie area? I was not talking or texting or eating or drinking or laughing or coughing or sneezing or snoring. … As I slinked over to a more appropriate spot in the old people zone, I felt that same terrible feeling I experience when I accidentally wander into the petite section of Ann Taylor.”

We’ve seen signage at neighborhood libraries indicating that the children’s sections are reserved for children and their caretakers, and would assume it’s some sort of initiative to protect children, which Boerner alluded to. Still, it seems odd that a librarian wouldn’t explain that policy. Boerner says she was “too stunned” to respond, “plus, people were staring at me.”


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