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Sanitary products in library

(218 Posts)
dogsdinnerlady Fri 15-Mar-19 12:55:22

On the back of the loo door in my library this morning is a poster offering free sanitary products for anyone who needs them. Just ask at the desk, it says. Really? Who is going to do that? I see schools are going to provide free pads and tampons for all pupils soon. With libraries closing to save money and schools having to ask parents to pay for books, it seems the budget can accommodate free sanitary products for millions of women.
I am probably in the minority in thinking this is taking the welfare state too far.

Sb74 Mon 18-Mar-19 16:14:21

I think all girls and women should receive free sanitary protection. I bet if it was something men needed it would be free. Why should women suffer any embarrassment due to the cost of it? It’s a vital necessity.

Stawp Sun 17-Mar-19 18:08:50

"dogsdinnerlady

As usual, this thread provides a platform for fair and reasonable exchanges of views. Patronising, simplistic arguments and self-righteous comments on here plus abusive name-calling."

Welcome to AIBU. grin

PH03b3 Sun 17-Mar-19 15:23:34

I amongst many women have been caught out and not in a position to nip to the shop the thought of being able to ask somebody for one behind the counter would be so comforting in that oh fuck moment i personally can afford these things so would be giving a very nice donation to said lady to keep the scheme going and i assume that's how a lot of it is funded

Conanconan Sun 17-Mar-19 14:21:38

I work in a library and we have to provide handwash and toilet roll for customers out of our own pockets. Kids come in and stuff a whole toilet roll down the toilet and squirt handwash everywhere so we need many bottles every week. It is hard to ban kids from coming in because you will end up being accused of preventing them from learning. We do our own cleaning after we close.

We don't currently provide sanpro but if we did it would be out of our own pockets and these kids would just play with that too.

We also buy books so that our borrowers won't get fed up waiting for new fiction and go to tesco sad

CheshireChat Sun 17-Mar-19 14:07:21

With everyone saying that people also go to the library because it's warm, it's made me realise that probably the reason why it's so hot inside my local libraries.

Not sure why I didn't think of it until now as I've actually done exactly that.

Fifflefaffle Sun 17-Mar-19 12:37:28

It doesn't come out of government money though.
I signed up last week with a charity to buy a packet of pads each month and they match it. A direct debit thing. There's lots of charities that deal with period poverty. I'd be more than happy if they went to a library for the homeless to use. But as I write this, I realise how sad that statement is :-(

icanbewhatiwant Sun 17-Mar-19 09:55:39

I thought OP just meant people would be embarrassed to ask.
I don’t think I could ask. I know it shouldn’t be embarrassing. I’m probably in the minority but even now 30 years on I feel embarrassed buying them or having them in my supermarket trolley. I always hide them under stuff. I hope I’m in the minority and that most ladies would ask.
As a teen I didn’t tell my mum for a few years and used toilet paper or took the odd sanitary towel of hers. I had to tell her when she wanted to take me to the dr for not starting periods. My mum was always very open, so I’ve no idea why I’m not.

flabbymommy Sun 17-Mar-19 09:36:18

Our local library has this. It is run by a charity that delivers a box once a month. I used it once because for the first time in 3 years (I have the implant) I started bleeding out of the blue. The woman says it’s often used by homeless and school girls. I now take a pack to donate every time we go to toddler time.

SherlockHolmes Sun 17-Mar-19 09:32:20

Slight hijack, but can I just remind everyone to use their local library? With so many closing it's really helpful if more people would use their services, to help in the fight against closure.

Our library offers free downloadable magazines, audio and e-books, as well as lots of fantastic groups and facilities. And not forgetting the incredibly knowledgeable and lovely library staff 😁.

Libraries are a refuge and source of help and comfort for our society's most vulnerable. Please don't let this disappear.

And if you haven't visited your local library for years, please go in and join up.

fudgesmummy Sun 17-Mar-19 08:55:18

squeekums ☹️
This very reason is why I am coordinator for my towns branch of The Red Box Project.
If we could stop one girl having to suffer like that it's worth ut

BruceFoxton Sun 17-Mar-19 06:50:13

Early twentieth century some libraries distributed free milk for children. Always been useful to use public services for efficient distribution of welfare.

squeekums Sun 17-Mar-19 02:05:10

It's a great idea.
As a kid my father was a useless shit, spent all money on pokies and booze. Come that time as a 12 yr old I couldn't ask for sanitary items, there was no money and he didn't care. So I stole them, used rolled up toilet paper. I'd refuse to leave the house during my period as leaks were common and humiliating.
Then at 15 I was homeless thanks to my father, again, I had to steal, beg, or use tissues or toilet paper.
Being able to duck into a library and get a proper sanitary item would have been awesome, like I was thought of as a person, a small bit of dignity.

Anyone who thinks this is a bad idea obviously have NO idea what some kids endure. Only the heartless think this is a bad idea

YesimstillwatchingNetflix Sun 17-Mar-19 01:45:36

Are people actually this ignorant?

If this is a real question- you are being very unreasonable and frankly a fairly rubbish person.

Klopptimist Sun 17-Mar-19 01:06:36

This isn't just about poverty though is it, it's also about compassion. I don't care if the woman asking in the library has £500 in her purse to spend on whatever she likes, I would hate for her to suffer the indignity of leaking because Boots or wherever is a 10 minute walk away. We all know how horrendous it feels.

PegLegAntoine Sun 17-Mar-19 00:43:15

Thanks dark yes good point the schools have a much narrower range of people, I’d not thought of it that way.

Loved working in libraries generally but really don’t miss that aspect of it TBH.

DarkAtEndOfTunnel Sun 17-Mar-19 00:29:41

I misunderstood you then PegLeg, sorry. Some people do talk about the great social barrier that having to ask raises as the only priority. There are limits to what anyone can do.

Schools are different I think, they have more control over who is in the building and what they do there.

PegLegAntoine Sat 16-Mar-19 23:28:55

Dark I worked in a library too until my health took over, definitely agree there are some horrible people out there. We had the vandalism, major fights break out etc too, I used to dread my late shifts as they were hell due to one charming group of teens <shudder> Nice warm brightly lit central location for organised violence. With a side of books. grin

I maybe misunderstood, but I thought the idea is that you have to ask for the products, it won’t just be left out. Which might help a bit hopefully. That’s why I said about having to be desperate to ask, although there could be people that make a habit of asking for fun. There will be people who ruin everything.

I do wonder how much of the stock left out in schools is actually used rather than just taken for kicks, but I’m glad it’s available. Having said that the school where DCs do dance classes have some in their accessible loo and that’s never empty (no idea if it’s just not used or regularly restocked though). I’m not sure what’s better - have it freely available but risk huge loss of stock, or have it behind the counter where people might be too ashamed to ask sad

DarkAtEndOfTunnel Sat 16-Mar-19 22:47:23

Good grief. I hardly think people are going to go to ask at the library just to scam some free Sanpro. To ask, you’d probably have to really need it.

I'm a bit late to this party, but you'd be surprised, evidently. Youngsters sometimes do come into libraries deliberately to annoy staff. Libraries have been targeted by antisocial behaviour, I've known one be burnt down. Books get stolen and taken to the 2nd hand bookshop to sell. I know a 2nd hand bookseller who was forced out of business because people nicked their stock so much. If we have a toilet for the public, at some point it will get poo smeared all over it, or be used for smoking drugs. And if we leave free san-pro out, someone will clear it out either for their own use, to flog on the streets, or to tear up and throw around outside, just because they can. I'm glad we have it available for those who need it, but some middle class people really do live in a bubble, there are plenty of plain malicious people around.

sunshinemode Sat 16-Mar-19 22:42:11

I work with young people and started a box there. Initially people argued that people would just take them all. However I insisted that they should be available without kids having to ask as young girls can often be shy about this. Guess what... after 4 months no one has made off with the lot. The idea was that the should take a pack but mostly people have taken a few towels away in the bags we provide.

DwayneDibbly Sat 16-Mar-19 22:07:04

I definitely experienced period poverty in the early 90s. Buying sp from the corner shop; couldn't afford the better brands so buying the enormous ones that sat in your knickers like a brick. Constantly bleeding through underwear and, on occasion, my jeans. Period poverty isn't new, it's just we're sick of it and prepared to speak up about it more.

Also, did I misread or did OP say she worked for CAB? Imagine plucking up the courage to make an appointment, jumping through the hoops of the appointment system, only to be faced with OP and her bollocks about Sky TV and the unreasonable generosity of the welfare state. hmm

Omzlas Sat 16-Mar-19 21:42:18

This sounds amazing and I wonder if it's offered in our area. I know some people who can't afford much use their library as a place to get away from their home (also it's warm which their house may not be) and this would be welcome due to a shortage of funds. YABU.

WrongKindOfFace Sat 16-Mar-19 21:28:30

*How come we didnt hear of period poverty say 2 or 3 years ago? is it a new thing? When i was a kid growing up in real poverty i never heard of it.*

Shame and embarrassment? It’s good that people aren’t afraid to talk about it now.

RedPanda2 Sat 16-Mar-19 21:00:50

Btw, please Google Beauty Banks if you wamt to donate to schemes like this.

RedPanda2 Sat 16-Mar-19 20:58:44

This is fantastic, I'm going to ask my city library if they do this and donate.
Thanks for bringing my attention to it

PhilomenaButterfly Sat 16-Mar-19 20:31:55

10 years ago I was cutting up tea towels to use as sanitary towels.

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