Newport Beach Libraries Considering Rules Against People Bathing in Restrooms, Leering at Patrons
The Newport Beach Public Library could update its policies to specifically prohibit bathing in restrooms and leering at patrons — an action triggered by things that homeless visitors are said to do at the city’s four libraries.
Library Services Director Tim Hetherton said the city takes care to protect all patrons’ right to use the library while not infringing on free speech, and that rules are in place for all users, not just homeless people who commonly visit libraries because they see them as hospitable places out of the elements with comfortable seating, accessible bathrooms, books and computers.
Board of Library Trustees Chairman Paul Watkins said homeless people are welcome to use public libraries and that many do without incident. But occasionally, some — possibly with mental illness, he said — have gawked at his wife and made her uncomfortable, he told the board Monday.
He said he’s also come across men in the restroom shaving or washing their hair.
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