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To be irritated by the rules around adult/ child library books?

(129 Posts)
hophap Fri 23-Feb-18 13:01:32

In our library any book not expressly a children’s book cannot be borrowed by a child.

However any art book with actual artists/ pictures in is adult. Local history books are adult. Music books. Maps. Basically anything not bought for cartoon/ curriculum support and whoever is buying certainly aims at the younger end of the child readers.

Is it really unbelievable an under 18 wants to read some of the adult books? Totally fine if I need to give permission/ they charge adult fines (though as most the books are generally around the same price...).

My daughter has been barred from getting a book on an artist she’s studying, I then went to say I’d give permission. Nope. The book is not dissimilar to what you’d find in most school libraries. Being out with a card or sufficient ID I could t get it either.

What is the logic behind adult/ children books being divided and able: older children being confined to kids books? Schools don’t worry if a book is appropriate by not a kids book. The library rules actually mean that yr 6 can’t get books out the library they read at school (able group- classics). By GCSE many books in the kids study area are totally babyish. I understand maybe some books require adult guidance, but surely this is solved with parental permission. I remember as a child having a green stamp on my ticket to show that my parents allowed me to borrow any book.

UpstartCrow Fri 23-Feb-18 13:02:53

Thats a crazy rule. You'll have to get books out for her, which is a nuisance.

hophap Fri 23-Feb-18 13:04:14

Particularly as she is old enough to go alone...
I have a feeling even if she’s sent with my card (and I’d rather not) that’s another issue

alibongo5 Fri 23-Feb-18 13:04:32

Wow that is mad! I was borrowing solely adult books from around the end of primary, and dipping into them before that. As you say, surely there should at least be a system whereby parents/guardians can give their agreement?

treaclesoda Fri 23-Feb-18 13:05:52

That's mad. My six year old has a fascination with boats and often gets military history books out to look at the pictures of the battleships. No one bats an eyelid.

soupforbrains Fri 23-Feb-18 13:06:22

I'm fairly sure that in my library service the non-fiction books are available to adults and children alike apart from true crime and some other section I forget right now. only the fiction is segregated.

My DS has only recently started to read fiction it would have been very annoying if all his previous books had had to go on my card.

hophap Fri 23-Feb-18 13:06:29

Phew. I’m glad I’m not mad

They all looked at me like I wanted to defraud the system and we had quite a discussion! She’s end of primary

soupforbrains Fri 23-Feb-18 13:07:22

also in my library the fiction includes 11plus and 14 plus sections rather than just Adult and Children. so allow children to develop their reading.

MissionItsPossible Fri 23-Feb-18 13:07:31

Huh? How bizarre!

MyBrilliantDisguise Fri 23-Feb-18 13:07:37

Her fine should be based on her ticket, too. An OAP's fines are different to an adult's and those are different to a child's.

NambiBambi Fri 23-Feb-18 13:08:03

When I was a teenager you could get an adult library card at 14. Now the machines we have sometimes let us get adult books out on the children's cards but if I have a problem I speak to a member of staff who overrules the computer. It is ridiculous if you have actually given permission in person.

I know it is a nuisance but if they really won't allow it then join yourself (I love having library membership and use it a lot - you might find it comes in useful).

hophap Fri 23-Feb-18 13:08:15

The top end of our kids fiction is around David Walliams standard, the odd Alex Ryder... my 7 yr old is already at the ceiling!

hophap Fri 23-Feb-18 13:09:32

The kids art books consisted of 3- how to draw cartoons, how to draw animals and a random book on Aztec art.

That was the basis of wanting one of the many adult books on art

hophap Fri 23-Feb-18 13:10:54

This is a London Borough by the way, large hub library with many staff....

Merryhobnobs Fri 23-Feb-18 13:11:37

I am a librarian (but not in a public library) when I was child around age 12 you could get access to parts of the adult collection. My memory is hazy but as an avid reader it was great because I could borrow lots of books. In my library we override the rules depending on the case and individual we are dealing with. However in your small branch they may not be able to do that. An email to the head of library services to look at the issue?

DGRossetti Fri 23-Feb-18 13:11:55

Wow - the thought police !

BevBrook Fri 23-Feb-18 13:12:25

In our library there's a whole load of Minecraft books in the adult section. I assumed that DS aged ten wouldn't be able to get them out so I had to (with the inevitable fine when I forgot I had) - but actually I didn't check so he might have been OK, I don't know. Our library has quite a good non fiction section for kids though, I use it myself!

Rosamund1 Fri 23-Feb-18 13:13:02

Write to the library officially.
This is ridiculous.
A gifted child would be prevented from progressing.

The rule goes against the spirit of libraries.

Nikephorus Fri 23-Feb-18 13:16:00

Maybe they've had someone complaining because their precious snowflake saw a picture of a naked body or something in an adult reference book and they've had to change their policy?

Pennywhistle Fri 23-Feb-18 13:17:56

So what about Dickens, the Brontes, Austen, Thackeray, Hardy - are they all adult books? I was reading those at 12yo.

What about Tolkien? My ten year old is currently reading Lord of the Rings.

It’s not standard practice, my kids can borrow anything from our library. I’d be putting in a complaint along the lines of the Library limiting learning...

hophap Fri 23-Feb-18 13:18:20

Sorry. I asked. They said it is because their computers wouldn’t charge me a fine if it’s late. I asked a few times.

I know the computers actually can charge the fines because if I borrow books from neighbouring boroughs and they are late they are charged.

JacquesHammer Fri 23-Feb-18 13:20:08

That's utterly bonkers but I'm not surprised.

A couple of years ago my DD (then 9) wanted to do the summer reading challenge. She was reading Dracula, Wuthering Heights etc easily. They told her she didn't qualify for the certificate and badge because despite reading 6 books, they weren't 6 childrens books.

hophap Fri 23-Feb-18 13:21:41

Jacques- that’s awful!!

Roomba Fri 23-Feb-18 13:23:07

Wtf? I was borrowing books from the adult section from around age 8! I'd gone through all the children and teenagers section - I would have been gutted and very angry of I wasn't allowed to read anything else. Obviously my parents checked what I was taking out up to a certain age, so I wasn't borrowing Fifty Shades of Grey or anything - but banning it completely is nuts!

CuboidalSlipshoddy Fri 23-Feb-18 13:25:24

It’s not standard practice, my kids can borrow anything from our library


If there are libraries that restrict children to "children's" books, and have a separate section of "adult" books defined to be "everything not aimed at children", then my sympathy for libraries having their budgets cut evaporated: such libraries aren't worth funding. It's probably because some lunatic helicopter parent has got upset about "unsuitable" books and the library has reacted by essentially saying "nothing for 15 year olds that isn't suitable for 5 year olds". Such as library isn't worth funding.

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