NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


January 9, 2006

The Dallas Public Library system, realizing it exists to serve the broader public, and not as a network of day-care centers for the city's homeless population, has sensibly adopted new rules to make the libraries more inviting for the public, says the Dallas Morning News.

  • Among the new policies: zero tolerance for those guilty of "emitting odors (including bodily odors or perfumes) which interfere with use of services by other users or the work staff."
  • The rules also prohibit loud talking on cellphones and a host of other rude and disruptive behavior.

Homeless advocates say that nobody will be thrown out of the library for wearing too much Chanel No. 5 -- complaining that this rule is geared to the down-and-out.

This issue is about the city reclaiming its public spaces; Those who claim that these rules discriminate against the poor ought to explain why taxpayers, who fund the libraries, don't deserve safe and clean facilities, says the News.

Source: Editorial, "Long Overdue: Library's odor ban makes sense," Dallas Morning News, January 9, 2006.


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