[Parentsgroup-list] Libraries excluding mothers

Manjari Chatterjee Miller manjarimiller at gmail.com
Tue Jan 21 15:53:13 EST 2014


To add to what Sasha has said, I am a woman and I have always been let into
the circulation area with my 2 kids but never into the stacks. I will say
that I support not letting kids into the stacks with a parent of either
gender. Apart from anything else, I can't imagine having to negotiate the
stairs with kids from the depths of level D-West in case of a fire
emergency!


On Tue, Jan 21, 2014 at 2:51 PM, Alexander Nikolaev <
nikolaev at fas.harvard.edu> wrote:

> Dear Mia,
>
> Thank you for sharing this. For what it's worth, I am a father of a five
> year old and I've never been let into Widener stacks with my daughter,
> either when she was still an infant or when she was a toddler. This is a
> safety precaution, and while I completely agree with you that having books
> delivered to circulation does not quite replace hunting in the stacks, I
> also think that open stacks present a potential hazard, since someone may
> move the books on the other side of the shelf.
>
> The rule should in theory apply across genders (as it has in my case). The
> problem is that those in charge of enforcing the rule are not full-time
> library staff, but rather Harvard undergraduates monitoring the stacks
> entrance, and so the problem becomes that of challenging authority:
> apparently (most) moms with children are easier to stop than (some) dads.
> But this is an entirely different issue which should be discussed on it's
> own right.
>
> Just my $0.02.
>
> Best,
> Sasha
>
>
> 2014/1/21 Mia You <miayou at gmail.com>
>
>> Dear Harvard parents,
>>
>> Last year I was refused entrance to Widener, when I need to pick up a few
>> books, because I brought my infant daughter (whom I carried on my chest in
>> a Baby Bjorn). I was taken aback, a little dismayed, but since then I've
>> become appalled to find that, from talking to other parents, women with
>> children are almost always stopped, whereas men with children are often let
>> in. My own husband included. The blanket policy of no children under 16
>> being admitted into the Harvard Libraries gives leeway to pretty regressive
>> form of discrimination.
>>
>> I write about this experience here:
>> http://www.abradstreet.com/post/74065027259/that-abrupt-and-truncated-animal
>>
>> I'm hoping we can find a way to get this policy changed. Please contact
>> me if you'd like to work together.
>>
>> Yours,
>> Mia
>>
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>
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