You are viewing Allergic Living Canada | Switch to United States

Talking Allergies

* FAQ    * Search
* Login   * Register
It is currently Wed Oct 01, 2014 4:25 pm

All times are UTC - 4 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 26 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Libraries
PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2006 11:19 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
I previously posted about my local library but can not find the posts even though I searched extensively.

As a recap, my local library regularly has daintie, and other junk food filled snack foods as a part of their story times and childrens programs. Other parties including halloween, and summer reading program also have junk snacks which even include nut filled treats.

My friends peanut allergic 3 year old daughter was given reeses peanut butter cups to take home, even after her mother informed them of her daughters allergy.

My daughter attended a movie. They do not allow food in the library theater so it seemed like a good place to take her. However, when leaving the theater area, she was handed a cookie by librarie staff that my husband did not see right away. Being a resposible 3 year old at the time :roll: , she asked my husband if it was okay to eat before taking a bite. He asked library staff if he could see the packaging to read the ingredients and NO it was not okay to eat.

I brought it to the attention of those in charge that the junk food was unnecessary, and prevented children with food allergies from safely attending library programs. I was told "we have snacks, we appreciate parents who bring snacks and will not tell them what they can and can not bring ( ex. nuts), we do not wash the tables and chairs after and if that is not safe for your kids...then don't attend our programs."

I have been upset about this for months, and finally today wrote a letter to the person in my local government who oversees the library.

I am curious. Do other libraries include "treats" and nut filled snacks at childrens programs, and refuse to make the library programs safe for all kids? What is your experience with this?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 7:53 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6468
Location: Ottawa
Aren't ibraries pubic institutions? If they knowingly set the place up to exclude your child is this not discrimination? Would they refuse to make the place wheelchair accessible? Why are they refusing to make it food allergic accessible?
Our library does not allow food. HEre is their missin statement:
http://www.library.ottawa.on.ca/english ... /index.htm

I am realy bothered by those who simply refuse to protect our children when presented with the information. :twisted:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 10:44 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
That is good to know that your library does not allow food. I am appauled that mine does allow it, and promote it.

The library is quite wheelchair accessable, and yes I do feel that food allergic kids are being discriminated against here, and denied the opportuntity to attend library programs. Given that the library is publically funded, I assumed that they had to act in a way to accomidate all members of the public. They are refusing to remove the food (including peanut products ) at childrens programs, when presented with the information that some kids can not safely attend their programs when food is involved. This seemed like discrimination against a growing percentage of children to me.

Also, there are adults with allergies who might like to use the library. Can they not come in to the library without having traces of someones snack on a table designated for reading?

This issue is quite frustrating to me, especially since it is a publicly funded institution.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 11:28 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
When my son was in kindergarten I used to take him to story-time at the libraray. That was two years ago. Usually on the last day there would be treats. I know that some were brought in by parents, I'm not sure if the library staff provided any or not.

The food is eaten in one room - not all over the library. And there are no books or shelves in that room.

I was not concerned about may-contains as my son does not have a food allergy. I am concerned if he is actually eating my allergens - I need to know to wash him up right away. However, nobody ever sent anything with peanuts/nuts.

As an adult with allergies, this eating does not concern me. Yes, the kids come out of the room and walk through the adult section of the library - and yes, they might touch books/shelves when walking past. But, those same books get taken into people's homes and some people eat while they read. If the risk of touching things in the library after story-time is to high for a person, I think everything in the library is to risky. (Just my opinion.)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 11:28 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
My local libraries have great children's programs and have never allowed food to be brought in. The reply you received from the staff was unacceptable. Don't give up the fight.

I know it's nice for the library to have treats for the children... but they do not have to be food. For the last day of storytime for toddlers, my local library brought in baby shampoo and water and had the children blow bubbles in the room.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 11:42 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
I actually do not take out books from the library due to the fact that they are often covered with traces of milk and other food. My children always washed before leaving the library. I tried to minimize the risk that way, but I would still like them to have postive experiences with reading and books. It is really hard to find safe activities for them away from societies obsession with food.

I thought that with story time, it takes place in a seperate room, the librarian handles the books and puppets, and the children only really come in contact with the tables and chairs and crafts in the craft area. I assumed prior to enrolling her that this room should be free of food, as should be the rest of the library. But, this room is being used for snack parties! Snack parties that even include peanut butter cups!!! And...they refuse to even wash the tables and chairs after.

When I wanted my daughter to attend the summer reading party, I had planned to have her read books from home. We have lots of books, and I always let her order from her scholasic book oreders from school. I thought she would have fun reading, writing down howmany books she read, and having her name on a space ship at the library. As well there were books for top readers. She is only 4, but can read independantly quite well, and I thought she would be proud of herself to participate in a reading program that typically only has older kids in it. Where the books came from, since they were home books we planned on reading, really wasn't the important. I thought the whole "read over the summer, and enter a contest to win prizes" (new books) would be fun for her. Unfortunately we were not able to attend the launch party or wind up party where the prizes were awarded.

I looked into the halloween party because it included crafts and games that I thought would be fun for her because she is so left out at halloween. I was hoping that this would be a foodless occassion. We again, did not attend because of the food.

You can reason that the food is confined to one room...but when that is the one room that the CHILDREN go in, and numerous children have food allergies, it seems pretty rude and excludes those kids with allergies.

At my library, adults were allowed to eat in the adult section, and kids could eat anywhere in the kids section. They could even eat a peanut butter sandwhich at a table in the area where adults study. This has possibly changed since the last time I was there. I heard that food was no longer allowed in the majority of the library (due to my concerns being brought forward ). The food snack parties are still an issue though, as I believe the food is confined only to the childrens programs room, and area outside the theater now.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 12:57 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
Libraries have been a concern of mine lately too. Eating (in spite of the fact that it is not allowed) seems to be the norm at university libraries. The gerstein science library is especially bad now that the building is renovated--the study spaces are quite nice. i swear, at least 30% of people in the study areas are eating/drinking coffee, coke, whatever. (only water is allowed) if i see people eating nuts or timbits i do say something. i mentioned the problem to a couple of librarians...and they agree it is a major problem and aren't happy about it but they don't have the staff to be checking all of the time. i've been given the contact info. for the head librarian but haven't gotten around to complaining yet.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 2:43 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
Even though I just put the letter in the mail box tuesday, I recieved a phone call today.

Months ago, I had phoned city hall to see who I would direct a complaint about the library to. I was given a mans name who turns out to be the man in charge of handling city funds given to the library to operate, not the actual library itself. He said "he was very sympathetic to my situation, and is forwarding a copy of my letter to the individual directly in charge of library operations, but city council wishes to remain involved, and be copied in in any letters sent to me by the library in respose to my concerns."

Hopefully, there will be progress.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2006 3:59 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 8:55 pm
Posts: 412
Location: Vancouver, BC
Saskmommyof 2, I think they will have to change their policies about this, as it is clearly discriminatory and it doesn't even make sense. Why would you have food in a library? You are supposed to be clean when you are reading books. That shows respect for the books!! :lol:

I encountered a similar situation when my boy was little and I wanted to take him to a family place; there were kids eating peanut butter sandwiches and running around touching everything. When I asked the Boss of the Family Places (can't remember offical title) she said they would never chnge for just one child. I was so upset. It wasn't about one child. It was about being assessible to all, which was part of their philosophy. Anyway, now most family places are allergy aware.

Can you use a different library in the mean time? It sounds like you have met someone who doesn't have a clue about anaphylaxis. Get some posters/brochures from AC and ask if you can post them on their bulletin board. That will get the other parents thinking too. I find that if I give people info myself, they have a problem with thinking that I may not be credible, but if I have written info to back up what I am saying, they take me seriously.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2006 5:28 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
The city I live in only has one library, so I do not have acess to any others.

Speaking of my city, I heard recently that my city (of about 38,000 ) is the fattest city in canada per capita. Nice! Thats something to be really proud of. Our city never makes news about anything...this is the first thing we seem to be famous for. :roll: So when I say that literally everywhere I go, even the library, I can not escape the constant people pushing junk food at my kids, I really mean it. People are food obsessed lunatics here. It is hard to always "swim against the current" if you know what I mean.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 5:01 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
So I recieved a reply from my library. I will include the main points:

I quote "The reason why some of the Library's programs include food is that frequently a story time program is a child's first group social experience, and food and the sharing of food are often part of a social experience."

"Some families have beliefs contary to certain days, and have chosen not to attend the programs on those special days just as you decided not to bring your children on days that include food."

So yes, they are holding their position that kids with food allergies will not be able to participate in a safe environment. I am pretty disgusted that they value the "sharing of junk, crap food" so much. Hopefully, the "acting director of community services" man who I involved, and was also copied in on the letter will be disgusted at their attitude too!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 10:56 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
saskmommyof2 wrote:
So I recieved a reply from my library. I will include the main points:

I quote "The reason why some of the Library's programs include food is that frequently a story time program is a child's first group social experience, and food and the sharing of food are often part of a social experience."

"Some families have beliefs contrary to certain days, and have chosen not to attend the programs on those special days just as you decided not to bring your children on days that include food."


Unacceptable! Since when is sharing food a big part of a child's social experience? Playing, learning... those are the main social experiences. I don't see how this library can justify how food is so important to a child's social development.

And the families who don't participate on certain days have CHOSEN to do so... You did not CHOOSE to give your child an allergy. You did not DECIDE for yourself. The decision was made for you because you had NO CHOICE. What are they saying? That you CAN make a choice? A choice between life and death? Sickness and health?

They are saying that your child has to be excluded because of a condition she has no control over. They are completely against making any kind of concessions or changes to accommodate your allergic child. The library has wheelchair access. They provide the means for a wheelchair-bound person to access the library. That person then makes the decision whether or not to use their services. No one in this library has done anything to give you a choice.

It's good you are not letting this drop. Take it to your local politician or newspaper.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 12:53 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
I am in the works writing another letter. I would like to include the names of other public libraries across canada that DO NOT allow food in the library especially at childrens programs. I would like to give examples that there are other libraries out there who do not act so inconsiderately.

Susan had mentioned "Ottawa Public Library" already, so if your local library is food free in kids programs could you please let me know the name of it either on open forum or in a private message.

Thanks Storm for being supportive here. I am really ticked off that they think that I have "chosen" not to attend their programs. Yes, I chose not to put my kids in such dangerous surroundingings, but I did not choose for them to have allergies.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 5:46 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
I doubt that those librarians really understand allergies---saskmommy2, I would expect that you have fully informed them but that they don't believe you about contact allergies, etc. I would suggest directing them to a publication which gives support for your concerns such as that guide for schools written by a number of Ontario allergists which indicates that children have had stomach upsets from touching tables with trace amounts of nut protein. Really, not making the space safe for your children amounts to discrimination.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 12:25 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
Good idea Lisa, I will include it in my next letter. My friend who also has children allergic to peanuts/nuts/milk/eggs was going to sign her son up for story time. I told her the response I was getting regarding food from the library. She scrapped her story time plans...and is considering writing a letter as well.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 26 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 4 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group