Intoxicated individuals not behaving themselves at the library

Literary Junction
Thursday, September 13, 2018

The Big Horn County Library – or any library, for that matter – is a great place to study, read for enjoyment and so on. Unfortunately, not everyone comes here to be enlightened.

We have, of late, had an influx of intoxicated individuals coming into the Big Horn County Library to “read the paper.” They often end up falling asleep in a chair while holding a magazine or book, at which time we tell them they need to leave. Most go willingly, but occasionally someone will refuse and we then call law enforcement. This has been going on for a long while and for most part, if they are behaving themselves we let them stay. The problem, now, is that some are not behaving themselves.

We have had people bothering patrons who are trying to work on the computers or work at a table, trying to get money or a ride from them. We have had many people wanting to use the phone, then getting loud or making a scene at the front desk, which also is disturbing to our patrons.

Last week, two individuals were passed out in the area upstairs that is set aside for the teens and we found them there just as school was being dismissed. When we told them they had to leave, they flat out refused and became very belligerent. The Sheriff’s Office told us it would be a while before they could get a deputy here due to the volume of calls they already were on. The pair eventually were made to leave by law enforcement and now are banned from the library for a period of 30 days.

We at the Big Horn County Library have a policy in place for dealing with these kind of problems. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop these individuals from coming in the building. The comfort and safety of our patrons is of paramount importance to us, and we want to keep these kinds of disturbances and harassment to an absolute minimum.

When it’s obvious there is a problem, we do and will continue to do what is needed to put an end to it, but often we just don’t see it happening. And so if you are at the library and any individual, whether intoxicated or not, is bothering you in some way, please bring it to our attention at the front desk. We will do everything in our power to make your visit to the library a comfortable and safe one. Nobody should have to put up with people’s obnoxious behavior while at the library.

In a perfect world, this would not be an issue, but it ends up being our issue to deal with more often than any of us would like.

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