Senate approves bill to give libraries legal muscle to ban patrons

Posted by JAMIE SELF on April 8, 2014 

— The S.C. Senate voted 32-6 on Tuesday to approve a bill that would give public libraries legal muscle to ask patrons to leave and stay away.

The bill would make it a misdemeanor to for someone to refuse to leave a library if asked by a library's manager or director, or to return to the library after being warned in writing to stay away.

The warning must include the law or library policy the patron is accused of violating, the duration the patron must stay away, and the procedure for appealing the warning to the library's board of trustees.

The warning also must be given to the patron in the presence of a law enforcement officer.

The bill must receive a third approval, which is expected, before heading to the House.

The bill's supporters said that although library staff are responsible for keeping those libraries safe, they are limited in their ability to keep patrons who are disruptive or make others feel unsafe from returning to their libraries -- public spaces open to anyone.

The Senate approved the bill without any debate.

Read here for background on the bill.

The State is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service