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Phone use and beverages now allowed in library

Instead of rules, "We will address any behavior that is profane or disruptive.”

Central Library computer users
Central Library computer users

Phone use and covered beverages are now allowed in the Central Library and the 35 branches in the City of San Diego system, according to the revised version of the San Diego Public Library “Rules of Conduct for Library Patrons” that took effect September 1, library director Misty Jones said in a September 13 email.

Patrons discovered those items were allowed in several ways. Gone are the boxes that some branches placed near front doors for patrons to deposit water bottles before entering the library.

David Ege, San Carlos branch manager, announced the changes at the September 7 San Carlos Area Council meeting. Library staff will “address” the issue if a patron is loud or has an uncovered beverage, Ege said.

Ege’s announcement prompted a man in the audience to ask, “What’s next — lunches?”

No food is allowed, Ege said, and eating is among the activities listed in the rules. The first of the 12 rules that patrons should “refrain from in the library” is, “Smoking, vaping, eating, or bringing open containers of food or drink in the library. Beverages with a lid are permitted.” Patrons are advised in another rule to refrain from “using mobile devices at a volume that disturbs others.”

Jones said, “The library routinely reviews and updates the rules of conduct. Smartphone technology has evolved, and more library patrons rely on cell phones to accomplish daily tasks. San Diego public libraries are becoming hubs for innovation and technology, and we want our rules of conduct to reflect how we embrace and encourage technology use. Library staff is taking a common-sense approach to the library’s rules of conduct. Instead of a specific rule regarding phones or beverages, we will address any behavior that is profane or disruptive.”

Harlynne Geisler and Kelly Pepo

At the Allied Gardens/Benjamin branch on September 15, some patrons perused bookshelves, several were at computer stations, and others sat with their phones while I met with supervising librarian Kelly Pepo and librarian Harlynne Geisler.

Pepo offered a brief comment on the new rules. “Libraries are 21st Century, and people get thirsty,” she said. “We want people to know they are welcome in here as long as they are mindful” about covered beverages and other rules. The sound level for patrons talking on phones should be the same quiet tone that people use when speaking to others in the library, she said.

“People come in to use the computers. Someone may go online and need to make a call when paying a bill,” Pepo said. Geisler said others use the computers for résumés and may need to call someone.

At the start of the interview, Geisler produced her phone to demonstrate the library’s new “SDPL To Go” app. (The app was updated on August 27 on Google Play and on August 30 on iTunes.)

Geisler spoke softly and enthusiastically about it. “You can access the entire card catalogue by phone; download books and audio books for free. You can see what you checked out, scan book bar-codes, and find information about locations. And, there’s an event calendar with events like preschool storytime and yoga,” she said.

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Central Library computer users
Central Library computer users

Phone use and covered beverages are now allowed in the Central Library and the 35 branches in the City of San Diego system, according to the revised version of the San Diego Public Library “Rules of Conduct for Library Patrons” that took effect September 1, library director Misty Jones said in a September 13 email.

Patrons discovered those items were allowed in several ways. Gone are the boxes that some branches placed near front doors for patrons to deposit water bottles before entering the library.

David Ege, San Carlos branch manager, announced the changes at the September 7 San Carlos Area Council meeting. Library staff will “address” the issue if a patron is loud or has an uncovered beverage, Ege said.

Ege’s announcement prompted a man in the audience to ask, “What’s next — lunches?”

No food is allowed, Ege said, and eating is among the activities listed in the rules. The first of the 12 rules that patrons should “refrain from in the library” is, “Smoking, vaping, eating, or bringing open containers of food or drink in the library. Beverages with a lid are permitted.” Patrons are advised in another rule to refrain from “using mobile devices at a volume that disturbs others.”

Jones said, “The library routinely reviews and updates the rules of conduct. Smartphone technology has evolved, and more library patrons rely on cell phones to accomplish daily tasks. San Diego public libraries are becoming hubs for innovation and technology, and we want our rules of conduct to reflect how we embrace and encourage technology use. Library staff is taking a common-sense approach to the library’s rules of conduct. Instead of a specific rule regarding phones or beverages, we will address any behavior that is profane or disruptive.”

Harlynne Geisler and Kelly Pepo

At the Allied Gardens/Benjamin branch on September 15, some patrons perused bookshelves, several were at computer stations, and others sat with their phones while I met with supervising librarian Kelly Pepo and librarian Harlynne Geisler.

Pepo offered a brief comment on the new rules. “Libraries are 21st Century, and people get thirsty,” she said. “We want people to know they are welcome in here as long as they are mindful” about covered beverages and other rules. The sound level for patrons talking on phones should be the same quiet tone that people use when speaking to others in the library, she said.

“People come in to use the computers. Someone may go online and need to make a call when paying a bill,” Pepo said. Geisler said others use the computers for résumés and may need to call someone.

At the start of the interview, Geisler produced her phone to demonstrate the library’s new “SDPL To Go” app. (The app was updated on August 27 on Google Play and on August 30 on iTunes.)

Geisler spoke softly and enthusiastically about it. “You can access the entire card catalogue by phone; download books and audio books for free. You can see what you checked out, scan book bar-codes, and find information about locations. And, there’s an event calendar with events like preschool storytime and yoga,” she said.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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