Coronado Public Library Modernizes Its Rules On Drinks And Cellphones - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Coronado City News

Coronado Public Library Modernizes Its Rules On Drinks And Cellphones

Posted: Friday, September 6, 2019 5:35 pm

The Coronado Public Library has softened its policies with regard to eating, drinking and cellphone use. Library users will be able to bring in covered drinks (like a Starbucks), light snacks and to quietly use cellphones. However, behavior that disturbs other patrons or interferes with their use of the library, still remains against the rules. So hot food is not permitted as it omits odors and patrons having loud phone conversations will be asked to take their call to the lobby or outside. Additionally, the library still maintains its silent area where no talking is allowed.

The changes bring the Coronado Library more in line with retail practices in places like book stores and with other libraries in the region. The San Diego Public Library has allowed cell phone use for several years. The Carlsbad library has its own café. Across the nation, libraries are fighting back against dwindling numbers by making their spaces welcoming to a broader demographic.

In the gig economy where people work on their own instead of at a workplace, many libraries offer a lifeline, giving the self-employed and job seekers a co-working space where there is robust Wi-Fi and for whom the use of a cellphone is essential to conduct business. Staff at the Coronado Library also reported a constant battle with hungry kids after school and that teens, a demographic that the library is working hard to attract, were being expelled on a daily basis for minor offenses like eating chips.

“We have already noticed a remarkable change in the atmosphere and a drop in the number of negative interactions with kids,” said teen librarian, Jacqueline Luna. “We have had so many people come up and thank us for finally listening to something which they have been asking for, for a long time.” Luna remarked that the teen area was actually cleaner because teens were using the trash bins instead of hiding their food.

Talking is already allowed in the Coronado Library, the issue isn’t whether a patron is talking but how loud and if it is disturbing others. The same distinction will continue to apply with cellphone use. Cellphones have become an inseparable part of 21st Century life and technology has improved to the extent that gone are the days when every conversation had to be yelled.

“We are not going to throw someone out just because they are talking to an earpiece as opposed to talking to someone across the desk from them,” said Library Director, Shaun Briley.

“The point of these changes is to make the library a friendlier, less strict and more welcoming environment that reflects modern consumer expectations.”