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Pleasanton Library

Original post made by Kathleen Mohannan on Sep 18, 2009

I recently moved to Pleasanton with my husband and our three young children because of a job transfer. It wasn't by choice-it was it transfer and start looking for another job. We took the transfer. I really like Pleasanton when we visited but now I am having second thoughts since for some reeason, I have always considered the library a quiet place to read and do research. the Pleasnton library is more like a free baby sitter to parents who are to cheap to hired a baby sitter.
Just the other day I was in their selecting some books with my younger daughter (5 years of age) and the kids sections was like a elementry school playground with girls and boys teasing each other being very loud and talking about stuff us adults don't even talk about. I also observed a young mother who franticly lost sight of her baby that was runningaround the library--don't these people care about their children?
The Library is not a free babysitter though so many parents think it is--come on Pleasanton parents get your act together and spend time with your kids before it's too late.

Comments (48)

Posted by Resident, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Sep 18, 2009 at 9:41 pm

Wow, I'm sorry that you had such an unpleasant introduction to the library and that your initial reaction was so strong. Yes, the library serves ALL of the Pleasanton community, and does a darn good job of it. And yes, sometimes in the afternoons, once the surrounding schools let out, kids do "hang out" at the library while waiting for their ride home, since sometimes these distances aren't in the walking range. Parents, even those who adore their children and look after them carefully, don't take them by the hand to the library when they're 12 or 13 or 14. That would be a little, er, odd.

But honestly, the library is great, and maybe you could spell-check your complaint before posting? And again, in all honesty, most cities our size have two or more branches to serve the large population we have, so I have to take my hat off to our library staff for providing outstanding services and interesting programs to all of Pleasanton.

Posted by PToWN94566, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 18, 2009 at 9:47 pm

PToWN94566 is a registered user.

Yes the library can become louder than one might think acceptable, but I guess we should be happy that it's not the old location, from years back: Gingerbread Preschool! Now that was a tiny library.

Posted by Me Too, a resident of Canyon Creek
on Sep 18, 2009 at 11:40 pm

I too am sorry that the library does not meet your expectations. However, if that is your major measuring stick of a community, then you probably should have checked it out before you moved to town. Every community in the country is different and that's what makes us great. I grew up in a place that didn't even have a library. I'm actually happy that many kids can "hang out" at the library. Yes, that means we may have to "put up with" a few things, but at least there is a chance that they may pick up a book and read it rather than "hang out" on the streets. (Wow, I sound old)

That being said, I hope your time here in Pleasanton improves, but if this is not the community for you, there are others nearby that may better suit your families lifestyle.

Posted by Jerry, a resident of Oak Hill
on Sep 19, 2009 at 12:21 am

Kick a new resident because she complained about out of control children in the library. Are any of those kids your kids???

Sadly, typical present day Pleasanton attitude...

You people are funny...

Posted by Me Too, a resident of Canyon Creek
on Sep 19, 2009 at 12:29 am


Really, I tried to make my comments such that I was not "kicking" anyone, but just pointing out that all communities are different and don't always live up to each persons expectations.

Obviously everyone has their own opinions and not everyone is going to agree with how every aspect of a community is run. For example, I hate the way the "beer garden" is run in downtown festivals. Of course others have there own opinions and may think its great and I am free to go there or go to other communities. While I don't like it, I also believe it to be trivial. But if that were my biggest concern in the community I live in, I would have to move.

I hope any new person moving into Pleasanton finds it a great place to live. I enjoy it. But then again, it may not be the "best place" for everybody in the world. We are what we are.

Posted by Jerry, a resident of Oak Hill
on Sep 19, 2009 at 1:31 am

Me Too,

So it's your opinion that it's ok for children to be "out of control" in a public place, the library, where people do research, read the newspaper/book, or whatever activity where quiet is expected...

As the lady suggested - when did the library become an after school "baby sitting service". Have you had the pleasure of visiting the library during this time period? Why can't these kids wait outside the library, which is not a street corner. Better yet, wait at their school until mommie finds time to pick them up. Or even better, why can't mommie be on time to pick them up when they are dismissed from school...

I repeat - typical present day Pleasanton. Expect someone else to watch your kids until it's convenient for you to pick them up. Reminds me of some Little League parents...

I don't agree "we are what we are". I believe we are what we allow our selves to be...

By the way, it's quite evident these kids aren't interested in picking up a book and reading it when it's more fun to have a great time with your friends...

Posted by Me Too, a resident of Canyon Creek
on Sep 19, 2009 at 7:09 am


I completely agree with most of what you say, but I don't use the library much so I don't have any expectations. But if I moved to a new town and there was an aspect that was very important to me than I would check it out before I moved. Not every town is the right place for someone. Just because you have expectations of a situation and it does not meet those does not mean it is wrong. It would be like moving from Texas to North Carolina and complaining that the BBQ sauce was bad. Its not bad, its just different.

Posted by Hey Jerry, a resident of Foothill High School
on Sep 19, 2009 at 10:09 am

Kathleen's post is an offensive attack on the parents of this community. Jerry reread the post it is not an appropriate way to share a concern or introduce yourself to your new community.

The point that the library is too small and used as a youth center is a point worth addressing.
Pleasanton's City Council has not supported a plan to enlarge the existing library or build a second library. There has been at least 15 years of pleas from the parents of this community to create a community or youth center, the result has been an illusion of a future facility on the Bernal land. Sadly it is unlikely to ever get funded and built because salaries and city retirement benefits continue to absorb all of the funding that would be needed to create these community resources.

Kathleen your children are young enough to benefit from picking up the battle where many of us have left off, be constructive, get involved, and welcome to our flawed but truly wonderful community.

Posted by Julie, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 19, 2009 at 1:13 pm

Julie is a registered user.

I think that appropriately aged children (e.g. middle schoolers) should be allowed to go to the library alone.

One thing I like about PMS is that my daughter can walk there after school if need be (she needs materials there, she misses the bus/bus is late and it's too far to walk home, etc.). I could probably get to PMS in time from work, but we use the bus because it is convenient and we don't add to the traffic congestion at the school.

I feel safer with her at the library than waiting in front of school. That said, I do not expect the library staff to "babysit" my daughter. I expect her to behave herself and I feel confident that she does. If unsupervised children (or anyone) are causing problems the library should address it: e.g. set their limits, kick children out who are misbehaving/make them call their parents; have a relationship with the local schools. I think they do have the latter as I believe the librarians have yearbooks/other photos of the children on hand.

When I was a kid no way you could act up in the library - they told you to be quiet!

Posted by Sue, a resident of Downtown
on Sep 19, 2009 at 2:13 pm

Kathleen, You think the library is loud and unruly, just wait until the ice rink is put up for 2 months! That is if you can find parking to go in and use the library!

Posted by m, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 19, 2009 at 2:57 pm

First of all I LOVE the Pleasanton Library. Second, it IS used as a Free baby-sitting drop-off for parents. Third, that is a very unpleasant time to be in the library. It would be nice for the librarians to go back to the old rules of "QUIET!!!!" ... if not, those kids lose their library privileges. If you act up in class you go to the principal. If you continue to act up in class, you get expelled. No difference here. I do agree that KM can either (1) go to the library at a different time or (2) go to a different town.

Posted by Annon, a resident of Downtown
on Sep 19, 2009 at 3:04 pm


Sorry for the arrogance in reception to your post here. There is an entitlement issue here in cozy Lil P-Town.

These kids are NOT respectful when mommy is out of sight, at the library, or down town.

I give you kudos for expressing your concern AND for using your real full name, which I don't do, because of the hostility in this town and on the forum.

Welcome to Pleasanton

Posted by Anne, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 19, 2009 at 4:25 pm

Just to give you a heads up -- don't go shopping on Wednesday mornings before 9:30am, at the local Raley's shopping center. Mommy & Daddy drop their little angels off there because it's "late day" -- the kids go to school an hour later than normal. The kids are dropped off to have breakfast and then walk to PMS. They ride bikes/skateboards/scooters on the sidewalk and/or in the parking lot. It's a regular free-for-all!! Years ago, the school paid a campus supervisor to go to Raley's and report to the Principal any problem behavior and they would follow up with a detention. I guess with budget cuts they cannot continue (and besides, should they really have to)?!

Posted by m, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 19, 2009 at 4:45 pm

Is the issue entitlement or "lack of discipline"????

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Sep 19, 2009 at 6:04 pm

You're a newcomer and you're already crabbing about something? Let me give you some SAGE advice. If you keep running off at the mouth you're gonna get yourself into some deep trouble. 1st - somebody is gonna erase your posts. 2nd - If you can't hold in your tongue, somebody is gonna trash you and fast! 3rd - Somebody may just blast you and if you feel hurt, everybody in town in gonna laugh off their heads. The reality is, you're welcome to live here BUT try to ease in and not step on anybody's toes? Get it? Good!


Posted by Cheryl, a resident of Country Fair
on Sep 19, 2009 at 7:13 pm

Sadly, the teens & young adults act like they have been TAUGHT to think they are ' an entitlement !!! Not only will life be difficult for those around them, but they will be shocked & traumatized when the real world bites them back. Rarely do you see them pause at an side street for their OWN safety, like the 2 TON car MUST stop so THERE !!! I'll just kill myself. Or would they pause in Ssfeway lot...just dart behind slow backing blocked's ok the world will STOP for them... right ??? ZERO PERSONAL responsibility. ANOTHER thought for Annon who has his OWN other topic going, buy he doesn't allow ANY opposing thoughts (since he got raked over the coals 10 days ago) ANYWAY, he wants everybody to be nice to each other, my question should the billions of kids to sit & waste WATCH & idolize Kanaye WEST think he should have TAUGHT them to run on a stage to YANK a mike out of a winners have for ANY reason, but to insult the winner is UNCIVIL....,what an IDOL !! His CDs should be burned & banned. Also, regarding Obama AND the library, remember teachers & academia in the 80s TAUGHT kids to ""CHALLENGE AUTHORITY "" often academia just doesN"T "GET IT"....we're now living with those parents who learned SO well !

Posted by Julie, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 19, 2009 at 10:04 pm

Julie is a registered user.

I think there's a combination of issues going on which may or may not include "lack of discipline", "entitlement" and also "intolerance".

Middle school children are old enough to be dropped off at Raley's an hour before school, as well as at the library. Late start day can be a huge challenge for dual employed families and I think dropping the children off for breakfast within walking distance to the school is a decent solution.

Should the children behave safely and appropriately? Of course. Is there bound to be some level of horseplay among teenagers that make that ONE hour on Wednesdays a poor time to shop at Raley's if you have a low tolerance for kids...yes. Is there an easy solution? Not likely.

It's too bad a "few bad apples" ruin it for the rest. Not all parents that drop their kids at Raley's or let them go to the library are bad parents who have "entitlement" issues. Most of them are parents trying to juggle work, parenting and a host of other issues. They are trying to come up with solutions for their children that meet multiple parameters of safety, appropriateness, finances, etc.

The library, Raley's, and any other institution that has an issue with kid's poor behavior need to be proactive. If there's the attitude that "I'm not supposed to be a babysitter" then, while I agree with that sentiment, the bottom line is their problem won't get solved. Have an employee take pictures of the kids causing problems and show it to Mr. Whitney at PMS. I'm all for holding the kids (& their parents) accountable for their behavior.

Posted by Jerry, a resident of Oak Hill
on Sep 20, 2009 at 1:03 am

This is unbelievable...

First - If a child is "kicked out" of the library for being unruly and something happens to them, who do you think the parents will blame and come after...

Second - Who in their right mind would drop off their children, unsupervised, in a shopping mall parking lot. Haven't we learned anything from reading/seeing the reports about the little girl that was held for all those years, raped how many times we don't know, and gave birth to two children, fathered by the animal that took her off the street on her way to the school bus, in plain view of her step-father - as well as the many stories of this nature that surface repeatedly, with the parents begging for the safe return of their child...

In this day I would never drop my middle school child off in a public parking lot, for whatever reason, to wait for school to start. This is insane. Isn't there a place on the school site where they can wait. Whether we choose to believe or not, there are some very evil people waiting for any opportunity to snatch any available child. Where better than a public parking lot full of grade school children...

As for the Raley's Manager taking pictures of the unruly children and giving them to the school principal - it isn't his responsibility to maintain order in the parking lot. Are we now attempting to ordain_him_a "baby sitter"...

Take responsibility for your children, don't foster them off on someone else. There could come a time you will regret it and, no matter how hard you try, you will have no one but yourself to blame...

By the way, I don't believe Ms. Mohannan stated "a quiet library" was, in any way, an aspect of her family's decision to live in Pleasenton. I heard her say it was an economic necessity that forced her family here. I also think her post was primarily expressing her disappointment at the way some local kids are allowed to behave in a public library where, traditionally, people are expected to respect others quest for a "quiet environment". True, she did admonishing some parents for not being more responsible. If it's apparent, where's the fault in that...

If she's being told "this is here and where you came from is there, learn to accept our ways or move on", then that's sad...

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 20, 2009 at 8:17 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Julie wrote: "Late start day can be a huge challenge for dual employed families"

Why doesn't PUSD explore holding this Wednesday meeting in the afternoon instead of the morning? Many families already have after-school care arrangements and it seems like it would be easier to extend those instead of trying to find before-school care.

Posted by m, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 20, 2009 at 8:38 am

If kids are acting up at Raley's then call the police. This is done in other cities where unmanaged kids hang out and make a raucous. that's what we pay the police for.

Posted by Diana, a resident of Foothill High School
on Sep 20, 2009 at 8:58 am

Julie your points are well made. I celebrate the family friendly community of Pleasanton but there is a surprising lack of tolerance and understanding toward kids in this discussion.

Allowing young teenagers to gather with friends for a bagel and a mocha for one hour before school (they then walk in a group to school) or hang out for an hour after school (working parents and parents allowing the traffic to subside) should be a reasonable thing to do. It would be better if they had youth appropriate locations in town but as there are NONE. Our youth are always looking for gathering places but get shooed away, often getting the police called on them, for simply trying to gather with friends. Yes they are going to be loud and rowdy in a group they are kids. We have a Senior Center but no youth or community center and it appears that all public locations are adult only so.... where should our kids go?
I have teenagers but also find it difficult to be at the library from three to four on a school day.... knowing they have nowhere else to go I avoid those hours.

I was a perfect parent before I had kids and before my kids were old enough to challenge me with the hard part of being a parent. Parents can't win in these discussions, we are too coddling or to permissive. Kids by their nature are easy targets because they are imperfect.

I chose to raise my kids in Pleasanton because it is a community in which parents are very involved and supportive of our kids, as a result the kids in Pleasanton are typically imperfect but good kids.

Kathleen I think the way you shared your concern was unfortunate. Jerry I always enjoy your posts but I think you are off base on this one IMHO. Julie I always like your posts, your children have a good parent.

Posted by billie, a resident of Mohr Park
on Sep 20, 2009 at 9:11 am

"I was a perfect parent before I had kids"

**LOL!!** So true!!! **still LOL!!**

Posted by Julie, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 20, 2009 at 10:23 am

Julie is a registered user.

Diana, thank you for the nice personal comments. I appreciate it.

You bring up such a good point - where ARE kids supposed to gather? Once they reach the age where they do not need constant supervision by an adult (for me that age is about when they start middle school: 12+) there is no choice but for them to hang out at the library, bagel/yogurt/ice cream/etc. establishments, stores, etc. It should be expected that any of those places that are situated near schools will have a higher volume of children than at others.

It's a reality that adolescents will be out and about. I think many families have dual employed parents once the children become teenagers (if they didn't already) because children at that age naturally need their parent less and it's an opportunity for parents to improve their family's economic situation. Adolescents are also out and about because their parents recognize that it's normal and healthy for their teenager to be autonomous and with their friends. I am off work at around 3:00 p.m. and often on Fridays my teenagers are downtown, etc. - not because I am dumping them off and expecting free babysitting - but because I want them to enjoy this normal part of their development. I am happy to live in a town where I feel it is safe for my children to enjoy the right to gather and have fun in public places.

Jerry, I don't think those parents are dropping their children off alone in the parking lot. I think they are leaving them with friends at specific establishments (I have heard the bagel place is popular).

Finally, I think there are perception issues here. I'm sure we all agree that the kids should not be engaging in any illegal or destructive behavior. They should be acting safe (i.e. not running around/skateboarding all over the parking lot). However, we do need to recognize that they are *kids*. Will they be loud? Likely. Will they be laughing? Likely. Will they perhaps be a little physical? Yep! Personally I'd rather be around that than the crazy evangelicals at the Farmer's Market (mentioned on these boards) any day! I'd rather be around the teenagers than the multiple little kids that are *crying* in supermarkets, etc. We live in a family friendly town and I think having some tolerance is in order.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Sep 20, 2009 at 11:36 am

If you're asking for tolerance, then please stop referring to the Street Preachers as "crazy evangelicals"?

If getting dirty is your best shot, I guess you just have to play dirty.

Dirty is as dirty does!

Free Speech in America will always be essential to your well being.

Posted by Diversity Rules, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 20, 2009 at 11:41 am

Pleasanton is a snobby white middle class town. Some (not all) of the people who live here have this sense of entitlement and that they are better than others. I think its funny that someone voices their opinion as an outsider looking in and everyone gets defensive. Look in the mirror Pleasanton. Your kids are spoiled, they act differently when you are not around and you still spoil them then blame someone else. I have witnessed the bratty kids at the library that PMS Stepford Wife moms use as a daycare. I have seen the kids running up and down the aisles at Raley's on a Wednesday morning. Call it what it is. And I live here and my kids go to school here. And the best comment of telling this woman sorry for your bad experience, and then suggests she uses "spellcheck". My point exactly.

Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 20, 2009 at 1:25 pm

No one moved to Pleasanton for the myth of "diversity". My family is first generation and we moved here to share a community with people of any ethnicity that value the clean, safe, educated, friendly town that Pleasanton is.

Kathleen seemed to be complaining about the activity in the children's section which is intended to be lively and kid friendly.

Posted by CNS, a resident of Country Fair
on Sep 20, 2009 at 8:41 pm

I've always thought the lack of a quiet policy at the library was annoying, too, and often wondered why the policy never changed. Looking back, 13 years after first moving here, I realize the reason may be that enough people don't request it it.

Kathleen, kudos to you for speaking up about it! My hope is that you'll, too, come to love Pleasanton as I have in my 13 years here, and that you'll either be able to make a difference when you're frustrated (I've done that on other issues), or that you'll come to love this city so much that you accept things like library noise in favor of general love of this city's many wonderful traits. Welcome to Pleasanton - it's truly a place like no other.

Also, Kathleen - I really hope that you won't take personally the badgering posted on this blog. I visit this blog only every couple of months but have noticed that much of the bickering (nay-saying, etc) comes from a core group. This group, I know, does not represent our community as a whole. Again, welcome, Kathleen! Enjoy your new Hometown.

Posted by Julie, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 20, 2009 at 11:05 pm

Julie is a registered user.

Personally, I don't feel defensive about Kathleen's comments. I agree 100% that *young* children should be supervised by their parents in the library and that older, unsupervised children should be required to behave appropriately in the library. I expect a higher level of "energy" in the kids section, but agree there should be limits.

While I don't agree with posts that "badger" the author or ridicule her grammar, I do think a person should expect some defensive responses when they post something like, "come on PLEASANTON parents get your act together and spend time with your kids before it's too late." No one likes to be lumped all together negatively, particularly in statements full of conjecture (e.g. the idea that parents who leave their kids at the library don't care about their children or spend time with them).

Kathleen, you ARE a "Pleasanton parent" now! If you have flexibility with time, I would suggest going to the library at any time OTHER than between 3:15-5:00, as likely then it is indeed quiet.

Everyone says the librarians shouldn't have to be "babysitters" and seem to equate that with "they shouldn't have to set limits". I agree with the former, but not the latter. The library likely has rules regarding noise, running, etc. They need to *enforce* those rules. How? There should be a posted policy for parents stating that their child will be escorted out of the building (by staff or police) if they do not comply with the rules. Perhaps we should all have to sign a permission/agreement form for the library as I believe we do for the bus service. At the beginning of each year, for the bus service, both kids and adults sign that they understand that unruly children WILL be ejected from the bus. I believe the form included expected behaviour.

Stacey, I don't know how the "late start Wednesday" began or why it isn't in the afternoon. It has always been this way since I moved here 9 years ago. I came from a less affluent area and immediately wondered what two employed parents do. At the time I was fortunate to be home with my kids, but it was a challenge for several years when I went back to work and my kids were still young enough to require rides.

Posted by Pam Ellis, a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Sep 21, 2009 at 9:07 am

Hi All... she is right, I've noticed that too... although it might be the timing.

The afternoon when the kids are getting out of PMS is the busiest. Or if is was when school is out for summer, the babysitter analogy is likely. So during the school year, the library has become a pick up place for parents rather than the school... I'm sure for a variety of reasons.

Anyway... I hope things are better on subsequent visits.

Posted by jaycee, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2009 at 9:10 am

Why would anyone ever think it's okay to drop your kid off at a supermarket before school? And if you think your little darlings are behaving like angels, think again!! And trust me, I have 3 kids in 3 different schools with all the issues a lot of you are talking about. Still, they are never dropped off in a strip mall or told to go to the library to "wait for me." How about leaving them at the school library? I'm sure they wouldn't like that quite as much.....where they actually have to sit, read, act like the mature teens you say (I mean hope) they are.

Posted by Sigh....., a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2009 at 9:43 am

Oh how the generalizations spew forth on these forums…..I wish the Weekly would just close the Forum section down, and those with issues would perhaps address them directly with the entity involved. (sigh)

Kathleen – Welcome to Pleasanton. You have been transferred to an area that is rich with so much to offer you and your family.

I am sorry to hear your experience at the Library was concerning to you. After school may be a 'busy and noisy'' time at the library for reasons stated by others above. I know I have gone in and it has been dead quiet. So, I hope you are able to take your child there sometime on 'off' hours' – and get to spend some time reading books and enjoying all the library has to offer.

This is a wonderful place to live. There are those that are vocal in regards to just about everything that goes on in this town. Pros and Cons. That's ok.

I just hope you have an opportunity to take in all that Pleasanton offers to families, and enjoy your life in our great community.

Posted by Daniel Bradford, a resident of Foothill High School
on Sep 21, 2009 at 10:53 am

Hi, I'm the Foothill High librarian. I used to manage a very busy branch of the Los Angeles Library and yes, people did drop off their kids for long periods of time without supervision. Los Angeles Public Library branches had a rule at that time about not having unsupervised children under the age of 12 in the branch, but sometimes parents didn't respect that rule.

As for being babysitters--well, we had more trouble with the behavior of the adult patrons than with the teens or the children! I do agree that library staff need to set rules and limits for the behavior of all patrons (not just kids) and enforce them. It's very difficult to handle a child if one of his parents or caregivers isn't present, though, since you can't very well ask a six year old child to leave the library.

We did have an issue at our branch with teens "bothering" the adults, but we solved the problem when the branch was torn down and replaced with a much larger facility that had a special "Teen Zone" just for the middle and high school kids, as well as a special children's area for the pre-teens. I would love to see Pleasanton Public Library expanded to create special areas for adults, teens, and kids. My main criticism of Pleasanton Public is that while it is an attractive facility, it feels small and sometimes cramped for a city of this size (and surely the wealthy town of Pleasanton can afford to invest more in its public facilities).

I have visited the Pleasanton Public Library many times and have generally been pleased with the quality of its service and haven't noticed any out-of-control patrons of any age, but perhaps I was fortunate in the times that I visited. I can tell you that I've worked with lots of librarians and the Pleasanton Public Library is fortunate to have a lot of first-rate staff on board.

One thing that parents can do to support the librarians, of course, is to stay with their children and to be respectful of the quiet atmosphere of a library. I have noticed that some parents bristle whenever anyone--even a librarian who is trying to maintain order in a public facility--corrects their child, even in a kind and helpful way. Parents really do need to take responsibility for their kids and to think of others.

And please remember, it is simply NOT safe to leave your child unattended in any public place, including the library! When I was manager of the Mar Vista Branch of LA Public Library, I once stopped a grown man from leading a cute little seven-year-old girl out to his car in the parking lot to "see his new puppy"--I called the police and it turns out that the "puppy owner" was a serial child molester who was on probation for earlier molestations of kids. And where was the girl's mom? Off shopping!

Finally, we should be glad that children and teens are in the public library! They can discover a lot of wonderful books there, and anything that lures them away from video games and other time-wasters is something we all ought to support. I do hope that the Pleasanton City Council and the people of this town will re-visit the idea of building a second library or expanding the current facility.

Posted by Linda, a resident of Danbury Park
on Sep 21, 2009 at 10:56 am

Kathleen's very rude post diminishes any message she may have. She is the one that owes her new community an apology.

"I recently moved to Pleasanton It wasn't by choice

free baby sitter to parents who are to cheap to hired a baby sitter.

--don't these people care about their children?

come on Pleasanton parents get your act together and spend time with your kids before it's too late."

Posted by D W, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2009 at 11:04 am

I use the library every two Mondays when my maids clean my house. I've never had any problems with the pre-teens. They handle themselves just fine. Sure, they're a little noisy at times, but do note that they just got out of school and are probably stressed from the homework they need & want to finish up before the afternoon ends.

As for the smaller kids, yes, they are way too many screamers and criers. But remember this: the library leadership has always been kid-friendly. If one kid screams or cries past 15 minutes long, then they'll take action. They are exercising patience first.

If there is any cluelessness inside our library, it comes from the parents/guardians (usually the more oblivious moms) who let their dear screamers go unchecked while they get lost in which book they want to have but are too lazy to check out right away.

Considering how much the recession has hit families hard, even in Pleasanton, I believe the library has done a phenomenal job under the excruciating city-wide circumstances that exist now. They are as diverse as they have ever been and they are accountable, unlike the screamers both from the little kids in the library to the intolerant preachers along the Farmers Market 52 Saturdays a year (You believe they want everyone to have the free speech we're all entitled to? Hardly! The best believers are strong and open but discretionary in their words, which is not the case here).

Posted by peace, a resident of Danbury Park
on Sep 21, 2009 at 11:04 am

I love MANY things about Pleasanton's library, and appreciate the benefit of it and the friendly staff, but do agree that the noise level is inappropriate. I do think the quiet expectation should be enforced by staff, as it always was when I was a kid in the library. I thought maybe this was the "norm" of today's time, but I have been in a few other libraries in the area and none so loud and disorderly. Libraries are mainly for reading, researching, and studying. If people, teens and adults alike, want to socialize, just step outside and do it if they cannot do it in a quiet, respectful manner. The solution now is to avoid the library during the high traffic times after school, but even at other times the library is noisier than one would expect. Again, I think it's up to the staff to state and reinforce the expectations. Tweens and teens should be allowed to visit the library without parental supervision, but they don't have to be allowed the privilege to stay if they are not following the rules.

Let's try not to attack our new resident -- she may have not approached the subject tactfully, or like we may have, but she does bring up a valid point. I'm certain this will be a learning experience for her.

Posted by Jay P., a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Sep 21, 2009 at 11:07 am


Thank you for your insightful and very helpful comments. I hope all who are reading this are taking note....

Posted by Julie, a resident of Foothill High School
on Sep 21, 2009 at 11:33 am

You have made the most valid contribution to this discussion. The Library Commission has been advocating for an expanded facility and could use your voice to advocate for it.

My husband and I felt our kids are very fortunate after our, BACK to School Night, visit with you at the FH library.

Posted by sign o the times, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2009 at 11:46 am

It's not a Pleasanton specific issue. A few years back when I was living in the south bay I tried to find a quiet place to study and thought 'they the library is a great/quiet place'. I found out that's not so true anymore (I specifically recall an incident at the Milpitas library). I thought I walked into a Chuck E Cheese. It was mayhem and there was not one single place where you could go to get some quiet study in. Things have changed for the worse and it's not just Pleasanton. People are using the library/mall/grocery store as their babysitters.

On the other hand I don't see why the library staff can't take a more old-school heavy handed approach to keeping the library as a more reserved location to read/study rather than an entertainment facility.

Posted by Patricia, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 21, 2009 at 11:49 am

Patricia is a registered user.

From the tone of many of these posts, perhaps our kids are acting raucous and disrespectful because they are learning that behavior from the adults in town. My goodness, people! A new resident decides to get involved and voice a concern and you attack her for her grammar? Are you that superior or are you feeling attacked because you're afraid she might be talking about you and your kids?

Look, a good parent teaches their kids to be both independent and respectful. That means that when they are little, we go to the library and the store and the bagel shop with them, model good behavior (like being quiet, not being rude to the cashier or to other patrons) and telling them what the rules are -- walk don't run, don't disturb others, etc. By the time they are in middle school, they need to learn that those rules still apply when mommy and daddy aren't around. That happens when they get the freedom to walk with friends from the bagel shop in the morning or to the library in the afternoon. Some of them will take that freedom and act like jerks. That's when they need to have reality bite them. Other adults in the bagel shop can tell a 12-year-old twerp to quiet down and behave. I've done it, and the kids usually get very embarrassed and leave. Other adults and the librarians can tell them to quiet down and stop disturbing others. I have certainly asked teens in the library politely to quiet down when they were disturbing me, and have never had one do anything but mumble sorry and perhaps giggle quietly with their friends as they slinked off.

In other words, these aren't nasty gang punks and someone else's spoiled brats. They are OUR kids and our future and our collective responsibility.

Oh, and those people you're responding to in your posts are your neighbors. So how about modeling a little courtesy and respect here?

Welcome to Pleasanton, Kathleen. It's hard to get used to a new community, especially when you are still missing the one you left behind. My advice is to go to the library during quieter hours if you can, and hook up with the Pleasanton Newcomers club, a Mom's group, or a local church. There really are a lot of incredible, very nice people here. So hang in there!

Posted by Kathy, a resident of Downtown
on Sep 21, 2009 at 11:54 am

I LOVE our Pleasanton library.
The wonderful book lists, employees and ease of use, make it a weekly visit for us! Our children's librarians are helpful, knowledgeable and a fantastic resource. The special events that the library holds are always interesting and fun.
I do think that at times the children's section of the library is loud. When it is during a special event or field trip, no problem. When it is due to misbehaving children that can be annoying.

Posted by Julie, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2009 at 1:05 pm

Julie is a registered user.

Daniel, count me in as really appreciating your comments!

I just received an email from PMS stating that the school library would now be open after school M-TH. Perhaps that will provide another option for those students and their families, besides simply the Pleasanton Library.

I think it's great when parents don't actually *have* to drop their children off anywhere unsupervised. Such parents usually don't work outside the home; don't work during the day; or have an incredible support system. That is not the reality of everyone.

Remember, most of us are not talking about YOUNG children, like the 7 year old who was in danger of getting kidnapped at Daniel's library. We are talking about TEENAGERS. As I stated before, often when my children are unsupervised downtown, etc. it is not because I can't supervise them, it's because becoming autonomous and being with friends is a natural part of an adolescent's development.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 21, 2009 at 2:12 pm

Welcome to the new Pleasanton resident. I can certainly understand their comment regarding our library....yet please don't judge a book by its cover! My experience in the community is fabulous and I've been here quite a while. Yet, I too have similar feelings regarding our library. However, it's not ONLY the kids of the community that are loud and disrespectful. I've been bothered by adults and kids alike talking loudly while visiting with others - using their cell phone for extended discussions and the such. I think we all could be better behaved in public places especially in a library. I do think our library is wonderful - but let's face it - after school and on the weekends it becomes a "teen hangout" because parents think if the kids are at the library then they're safe and productive. Perhaps the city needs to rethink development and build a teen center with with "visiting" and group study space or perhaps open one of the schools as a "hangout". I know we don't have funds to offer organized activities but perhaps we could supervise it with volunteers, community service requirements or youth counselors, etc... Then perhaps our library will become a quieter respite and study space. I do think the library is a wonderful place for STUDYING/HOMEWORK to occur while kids are waiting for pick-up. However, a refresher in manners and library etiquette is warranted for all. In addition to the library - I constantly see kids gathering at Borders and Barnes & Noble to do "group study". It's apparent that kids are looking for both a place to get together with friends and independence from their homes. I bet we could solve both as a community and still keep our kids safe. Perhaps one of the PTA's could organize a group study space - sell snacks/water - maybe even charge a nominal fee and help both the kids and fundraising.....

Posted by DC, a resident of Jensen Tract
on Sep 21, 2009 at 2:14 pm

I agree that the noise level at the Pleasanton public library is out of control. I have had similar experiences when I have sought out the library for quiet study and research and found the banter of children of all ages to distracting. When I asked why it was so noisy, and made the comment that it seemed a departure from long practiced library etiquette, I was told " there is nothing we can do about it" the staff was apologetic and went on to say when they ask the children to be quiet they don't listen. It seems to me that if there are known times when the staff is going to be overwhelmed there could be more volunteer staff to be noise monitors. Where are all those hard nose, heavy handed ( support the rules ) librarians I knew and respected as a kid. If the parents want to use the library as a way point for their children then they should expect the manners and respectful behavior they teach them, to be reinforced and supported at the public library. If their children are to young to be asked to leave when their behavior is unacceptable then they are to young to be there by themselves. Maybe the police or social services should be asked to intervene when a child to young to be outside the library is left without a parent or guardian in the library.

Posted by Jen, a resident of Rosepointe
on Sep 21, 2009 at 2:22 pm

The Pleasanton library is being used as a daycare and Hearst Elementary and PMS students are converging on the library as a free daycare every afternoon. I even heard the city had to hire extra people during those times. On school vacation days, it is bad all during the day. I've ended up going to the Dublin library on Sierra Ct. for the last two years because of this.

Posted by More Quiet Please, a resident of Downtown
on Sep 21, 2009 at 3:02 pm

I agree that the Pleasanton Library is the noisiest Library I have ever been in. I asked the reference Libraian about the noise and the cell phone loud conversatioons and she said it is allowed as long as it is reasonable. Well I don't think it was reasonable and the teens were disruptive and disrespectful in the back part of the adult section of the Library. I don't think that should be tolerated. It is probably the parents who don't care or aren't present with their children,that think it is OK, and what is it teaching those children, about respecting others. I don't think the noise is OK, especially in the adult section. I think we should all respect the quiet of a Library.

Posted by Kathleen Mohannan, a resident of Old Towne
on Sep 21, 2009 at 6:55 pm


Seems like this is now a major issue and not just a library thing. WOW-I do need to read more and will post more later but would like Jerry-thank you for your words. Cholo-guess what I am now a newcomer to the area, I was born and rainsed in Livermore and mved away. Came back to keep the money and the job. It was NOT by choice but Had to for family. So Cholo--Stay out of my way and stay in Livermore--I hear you can't even sneeze in the Livermore library without geting a dirty look. I will be posting more when I finish reading everything.

Posted by Love Libraries, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2009 at 6:57 pm

The first thing our kids (ages 5 & 7) got when coming to P-town was a library card. Their faces lit up when they entered (think of kids going to Disneyland). It was great when we could read out loud in the children's section & they could look through books - generally picking by the cover. I had to limit the books they took out to 7 each. The librarian told me in front of the kids that there was no limit. Thankfully, the kids were learning English and I just said, this is the house rule because I have to read them all and we are returning next week. I was the weird parent that didn't let them run and wouldn't let them shout across the room for attention.

Today my daughter (driving teenager) often went to the library during spring term and this summer. I think more to be with friends than study. I suggested that my son go to the library at college thinking it would be quiet (it was during orientations as I worked at the library while he went through orientation.) My husband prefers Dublin for the quiet and ease of computer use there.

I did not think Kathleen's comment rude. I do think parents should stop their children from running and calling out in the library - yes, this does happen quite a bit in the children's section and much more now than when my kids were there. I do agree with the others who wrote Pleasanton parents do not like anyone correcting their kids and those parents are usually loud and obnoxious no matter how the correction is presented. I grew up in a richer area, smaller town - libraries and churches were quiet; and yes, your neighbors and other townspeople spoke up to the child, when the child was out of line. People did not think that the teachers, police and librarians should be disciplining the kids.

Posted by Me too Jen, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 22, 2009 at 9:08 am

Like Jen and others, I've also started going to the Dublin Library when I want to be able to sit quietly and read. I don't know why the Dublin Library is consistently quiet, but it is.
When I do go to the Pleasanton Library, it's just to pick up books. It is often noisy there, and it's not just kids who are noisy. I'm always surprised at the number of adults who either let their cell phones ring and ring, or they answer the calls and hold lengthy and often very personal conversations in their regular voices.
I agree with Mr. Branford's comments and think a new library with separate areas for teens, children and a specific quiet area where senior citizens can read the latest magazines and newspapers without the distraction of too much noise would be a great addition to our town.
Kathleen, sorry for some of the mean comments made towards you in this forum. You brought up some good points.

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