Libraries to Cease Use of Day Passes

By: 
Bria Overs

The Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library is currently deciding on whether to remove the use of day passes from their location.

An unnamed patron of the library wrote to the Beachcomber that she was denied a guest pass in late October because they were allegedly eliminating guest passes. But, they did offer to help get her a library card, which the patron declined.

According to the Long Beach Public Library website, there are three different types of library cards offered to library patrons. One being full access, which gives anyone with a library card access to the computer and other library resources. “Five items,” gives patrons without an I.D. full access and lastly is computer use only or day passes as they are also called.

 Day passes are used by patrons of the library who do not have a library card. The passes give non-library card holding visitors access to library services, such as using the computer, for the day.

“We are currently evaluating our policy for computer use,” said Cathy De Leon, library branch manager. “We want to align ourselves with other libraries.”

Long Beach public libraries are one of the only libraries in Southern California that are still offering guest passes that they know of, which is pushing for an evaluation, De Leon said.

As to whether other Long Beach public library locations are also ceasing the availability and use of the passes is unknown as they are in the evaluation stages of the decision. However, at this time, all local Long Beach public libraries are offering day passes, including the Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library.

De Leon said  the Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library is “piloting a reduction in day passes,” but are also “looking at all options.”

“We want to do what’s best for our community,” De Leon said.

Some Long Beach residents, including the homeless, have concerns about the fading out of day passes due to safety and privacy concerns, as well as the lack of access to identification cards that are needed to apply for a library card.

“Many people use the day passes; people who fear giving out personal information, homeless people who don’t have I.D. and people from out of town visiting Long Beach,” the unnamed patron wrote.

After posting the unnamed patron’s letter on the Beachcomber website, several comments were posted in response to the letter. Some gave alternative methods in regard to the day passes.

Louise Sullivan wrote, “The library I retired from has a way to get library cards to those escaping domestic violence and similar situations. This one should also. Or make exceptions for day passes.”

Steven Witmer wrote, “The library I retired from has a way to get library cards to those escaping domestic violence and similar situations. This one should also. Or make exceptions for day passes.”

The final decision is to be made by an internal committee consisting of the director of the library and other staff members. There is no official date for a final decision at this time.

bria@beachcomber.news

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Comments

If you cannot qualify for a library card, you should not be able to use the library. This is a services provided to the taxpayers and if you are not a taxpayer, then maybe you should become one.

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