Library introduces age restrictions

Ballyclare Library. Pic by Google.
Ballyclare Library. Pic by Google.

A library in the borough has enforced a by-law meaning children under the age of 12 are no longer allowed to enter the venue if they are not accompanied by an adult.

The decision was taken by staff at Ballyclare Library after a number of issues arose when primary school children went to the School Street site after finishing class.

Commenting on the issue, a Libraries NI spokesperson said: “Libraries NI welcomes visits from people of all ages and provides library programmes and activities to encourage reading and learning in a fun, relaxed environment.

“Libraries NI Byelaws states that children under 12 years old may not be left in a library unsupervised and is in place to safeguard all library users.

“In consultation with the local primary school, the decision to apply the by-law in Ballyclare Library was taken to address safety concerns regarding the numbers of unsupervised children in the library after school hours.

“Children under 12 years of age visiting the library with their parents or carers are always welcome.

“Ballyclare Library offers an exciting programme of free children’s activities each week.

“Please visit www.librariesni.org.uk or call in for more details of all library activities.”

Voicing support for the move on social media, one person said: “Primary school aged children shouldn’t be left unattended. This seems fair as the library is not a creche.”

Branding the development “a bit heavy handed,” one person said: “If people were abusing the space then why not have a polite word with them and maybe have the school get involved. Child care is so expensive it’s hardly surprising.”