[Libs-Or] 2 library policy questions

Rhonda Alderman RAlderman at clatsopcc.edu
Wed Feb 19 14:33:37 PST 2014

I agree, this has been a very interesting discussion.  We had a patron here recently carrying (not using) an e-cig and I could definitely smell the residual aroma.  Whether or not the by-product is "harmful" doesn't mean it isn't bothersome to others, and just because we agree that something smells pleasant doesn't mean it isn't harmful.  As a kid my friends thought gasoline smelled good, while some people hate the smell of cilantro.

Working at the circ desk I encounter many people wearing perfume/cologne, shampoos and 'essential oils', real tobacco residue, and even too much laundry detergent in their clothing.  Sometimes it's so strong it makes me nauseous.  Many of these are chemical (laboratory produced) in origin and all can trigger allergic symptoms - runny nose, itchy eyes, headache, difficulty breathing - in people, who may have no idea what's causing them.  (Check out toxicant-induced loss of tolerance, or TILT, at http://discovermagazine.com/2013/nov/13-allergic-life.)  And consider the possible cumulative effects on children and small animals; new upholstery, 'air fresheners' and cheap perfumes build up in our body tissues just like tobacco (see http://mckayjenkins.com/books/whats-gotten-into-us/).

It's obviously not our place to police patrons' hygiene unless it's disruptive to other patrons, but I find it absurd to treat pungent body odor and lavender body spray differently... they may smell different, but to some they stink equally.  (I have been trapped in work situations with both, and while the BO didn't come home with me, the lavender stuck to me for days.)

I guess I wish people were more aware of this issue in general when sharing public space, and our culture less obsessive about masking normal (reasonable) odors.

Sorry about the soapbox...

Rhonda Alderman
Lead Circulation/ILL
Badollet Library
Clatsop Community College
From: Libs-Or [libs-or-bounces at listsmart.osl.state.or.us] on behalf of Diedre Conkling [diedre08 at gmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 10:11 PM
To: libs-or
Subject: Re: [Libs-Or] 2 library policy questions

This really has been a helpful discussion.

I know that there is no proof of this but I had someone living with me who used e-cigarettes in my house, though he was not suppose to do this.  The smell is why I discovered his actions, that and the fact that it was affecting my asthma.  The kind he was using was kind of like some odd and obnoxious incense (and I do like some incense).  He didn't think I would smell it but I really did.

Diedre Conkling
Lincoln County Library District
P.O. Box 2027
Newport, OR 97365
Phone & Fax: 541-265-3066
Work email: diedre at lincolncolibrarydist.org<mailto:diedre at lincolncolibrarydist.org>
Home email: diedre08 at gmail.com<mailto:diedre08 at gmail.com>

“If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.”―Maya Angelou
From: Libs-Or [libs-or-bounces at listsmart.osl.state.or.us] on behalf of Judy Anderson [JuAnderson at cu-portland.edu]
Sent: Monday, February 17, 2014 11:56 AM
To: Steve Silver; libs-or at listsmart.osl.state.or.us
Subject: Re: [Libs-Or] 2 library policy questions

Seems a bit odd to include them since the by-product is not harmful to others.


Judy Anderson
Reference & Instruction Librarian
Concordia University - Portland
Phone: 503 493 6453

From: Libs-Or [mailto:libs-or-bounces at listsmart.osl.state.or.us] On Behalf Of Steve Silver
Sent: Monday, February 17, 2014 11:49 AM
To: libs-or at listsmart.osl.state.or.us
Subject: Re: [Libs-Or] 2 library policy questions

Had an interesting pro/con set of articles about “vaping” (e-cigs) in Sunday’s Eugene Register Guard. Sadly looks like you have to subscribe to view them online ☹ It will be interesting to see the debate over whether they are or should be included in smoking bans.

Steve Silver
Library Director
ssilver at nwcu.edu<mailto:ssilver at nwcu.edu>

Wisdom  ∙  Faith  ∙  Service
828 E. 11th Ave. │ Eugene, OR 97401
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From: Buzzy Nielsen [mailto:buzzy at hoodriverlibrary.org]
Sent: Saturday, February 15, 2014 1:00 PM
To: libs-or at listsmart.osl.state.or.us<mailto:libs-or at listsmart.osl.state.or.us>
Subject: Re: [Libs-Or] 2 library policy questions

We have a portion of our Code of Conduct that addresses "Disturbing other library patrons or staff through extremely poor personal hygiene." I've never had to enforce it at this library, but I did at my last library. We directed the patron, who was living in her van with three cats, to a shelter that had washing machines that she could use.

We forbid smoking and using tobacco products on all of our grounds. It's also a part of our Code of Conduct. It doesn't specifically mention e-cigarettes, although I don't think it would be a far stretch to include e-cigarettes under "smoking". My understanding is that they do release a vapor.

Here's a link to our full Code of Conduct:


Library Director
Hood River County Library District
502 State Street
Hood River, Oregon 97031
On 02/14/2014 03:53 PM, Craig Carter wrote:

Hello everyone,

We have been discussing two separate policy questions, and want to get some feedback from other libraries on how they handle each of them.

The first has to do with patrons with personal hygiene challenges. Do you have a policy that deals with this, and if so, what is your policy? Do you offer any resources to these patrons as far as someplace they could go to shower/bathe and/or get their clothes washed?

The second has to do with e-cigarettes. Do you have a policy that addresses them? If so, what is it? What about chewing tobacco? Do you lump all tobacco-related issues into one blanket policy, or are they separate?

Thanks in advance for your input!

Craig Carter

Circulation Manager

Tigard Public Library

13500 SW Hall Blvd

Tigard, OR 97223

503 684-6537 X2509

Craigc at tigard-or.gov<mailto:Craigc at tigard-or.gov>


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