Iowa City Public Library approves sleeping ban
The Iowa City Public Library Board of Trustees passed a ban on sleeping in the library on Thursday night — a policy that has been discussed for quite some time.
Library Director Susan Craig said the decision to ban sleeping in the library was prompted by an increase in the number of patrons’ complaints in the last year.
“Sleeping in the library is a perennial issue, but the staff thought it was appropriate to bring it back to the board after receiving more complaints than we have had in quite some time,” she said.
Those who complain about people sleeping in the library did so because they found the behavior disruptive, she said. Those who snore loudly or sleep across several seats were said to be especially disruptive.
“People sleeping for extended periods of time has a negative effect on other people’s use of the library,” Craig said. “We want to be welcome and open for everyone who uses the library and we’re concerned that that’s not the case when sleeping is allowed.”
The common perception is that the individuals who are using the facility as a place to nap are homeless; however, Craig said, that is a misconception. She said there is not a specific demographic of library visitors who sleep on the premises and that a wide range of people engages in this behavior. The ban will be enforced on everyone, she said.
Other large public libraries in the state have enforced similar bans for many years.
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