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Bloomington Library Changes Policy To Battle Altercations

Last updated on Tuesday, March 27, 2012

(BLOOMINGTON) - Bloomington library officials are changing landscaping, banning smoking and considering restricting computer use to address altercations that have required calling police.

The Herald-Times reports arrests and the number of reported assaults at the Monroe County Public Library have tripled in the past six years. Bloomington Police Department data show the number of people considered "trespassers" rose from one in 2006 to 14 in the last year.

Library director Sara Laughlin says the library tries to be a safe and welcoming place for everyone who ends up there. But it is changing policies to reduce clashes and crack down on loitering, smoking and drunkenness.

The library averages 3,100 visitors a day and saw the number of visitors rise by 7 percent to more than 1.1 million visits in 2011.

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