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FAQ: Responses to Frequently Asked Questions about the Library, Arts & Culture Department

Library users are not shy about asking questions and making suggestions to improve services in Glendale's public library facilities. Library staff are happy to hear your thoughts and have been able very often to implement your good ideas.

Because some questions repeat ongoing concerns about situations that may take a while to fix, those that frequently recur are posted here. We hope this will help everyone understand Library policies and procedures.

We want to hear from you, and will post questions and comments that are respectful of the feelings of all Library users, and that do not contain personal comments or names.

Submit questions and comments on the feedback forms available at all Library sites. Send your comments by email.

Q: What is being done to ensure that the Library is a safe and welcoming facility?

A: All people are welcome to use the Library as long as they follow our Exterior and Interior Rules of Behavior. As a public facility it is important that the building, collections and services are accessible to everyone. In return, we expect patrons to be respectful of others and follow the Library's Rules of Behavior.

The tool we have in place for ensuring a safe and welcoming environment for Library users is our Interior and Exterior Rules of Behavior. These rules are enforced by Library staff and Security Guards, and they are available to everyone as a printed pamphlet.

During the months of our neighboring Winter Shelter operation, foot traffic and activity outside our building are increased. The Library is an active participant in an outreach team comprised of staff from Shelter Management, the City of Glendale's Community Development, Parks Departments, and Glendale Police to ensure that our expectations for appropriate behavior are clearly communicated to Shelter residents and that issues are dealt with as they arise.

If another patron is disrupting your use of the facility and/or violating the rules of behavior, please bring it to the attention of a staff member, or inform the Administration Office on the Central Library's second floor (818-548-2030.) It is important to let us know about these situations so that everyone can have the best possible experience at the Library.

By working together we can ensure a safe, accessible and welcoming environment for everyone visiting the Library, Arts & Culture Department.

Q: Why are cell phones allowed in the Library?

A: The Library, Arts & Culture Department libraries have never been "quiet zones." Library users must often discuss research with others and ask questions aloud. Our librarians and staff must talk to patrons, and the design and placement of our reference areas and reading rooms unfortunately conduct sound very well. Why add to the noise level by allowing the ringing and vocal noise of cell phones?

When cell phones first became common in public places there was much debate about whether they should be allowed in libraries. Considerations and issues were widely debated among librarians. Library, Arts & Culture Department staff discussed this, and decided that if we allow personal conversation between patrons, it would not be reasonable to disallow personal conversation on a cell phone. Often cell phone conversations are necessary as they involve research, homework concerns, and parent/child contact.

However, the ringing of cell phones is often pervasive and annoying, and sometimes cell phone users do not realize how loud they are talking. Because of the number of complaints we have received, we will step up our discouragement of cell phone use in the Library beginning with new notices in the Central Library building, and more strict enforcement of the Rules of Interior Behavior. These rules prohibit disturbing other patrons.

Library users who are bothered by noise made by other users, including cell phone use, should not hesitate to inform staff or a security guard, who will enforce our rules.

We will re-evaluate the situation after a time and decide if further action is needed.

Q: Why are some paper products not available in the Library’s restrooms?

A: The Library has experienced serious plumbing problems and unsanitary conditions from misuse of some paper products when these are made freely available. Toilet paper that rolls easily, is often rolled too much and is wasted in extreme amounts, or is stolen. Single paper towels are similarly misused. We certainly agree that our public toilet facilities and features are not as comfortable as we all may prefer.

City of Glendale staff are entrusted with the responsibility of spending public monies wisely. We need to balance the costs of providing a higher quality of products and higher maintenance fees, against the costs of other much-needed services.

We also want to be responsive to the needs of our patrons. Because many patrons have expressed concern about the lack of toilet seat covers, we have asked to have these restored in public restrooms. Other cost-saving products in all City restrooms (including staff restrooms) such as hand dryers will remain in an effort to lessen abuse and keep costs down. The Library’s restrooms will continue to be cleaned thoroughly every day, and sometimes twice a day.

Last modified: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 1:41:53 PM

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