A public library in Kingston, Ont. is being criticized for its new code of conduct, which bans foul-smells and loitering. (Photo: Facebook/Kingston Frontenac Public Library)The board is reaching out to shelters, police and mental health support to ensure that patrons whose needs exceed library services are directed to the appropriate organization, the statement says. But Libraries are for Everyone says excluding people won't help. "I think it will impact a lot of people's lives," said Nancy Jones, one of the group's members. Among the new guidelines is a note that "offensive body odour and/or offensive clothing/bag odour will not be tolerated," and that patrons must "limit the belongings" they bring inside.
"Patrons are expected to be actively engaged in a library service or event," the rules say. "Loitering or sleeping is not permitted on library premises. Loitering is defined as sitting or standing idly about; lingering aimlessly without using library services, regular and/or prolonged attendance at the library without using library services." Libraries are for Everyone says those references, in particular, "could discriminate against shelter users and other people in precarious housing situations or suffering mental ill health."
"I think it will impact a lot of people's lives."
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