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Revealed: Why people were banned from Norfolk libraries last year

PUBLISHED: 06:00 16 January 2020 | UPDATED: 16:06 16 January 2020

Thetford library.

PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Thetford library. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

©archant2016

Viewing inappropriate images, breaching agreements and antisocial behaviour are just some of the reasons people have been banned from libraries in Norfolk.

The Millennium Library in Norwich. Forum.
Photo: Bill SmithThe Millennium Library in Norwich. Forum. Photo: Bill Smith

In 2019, 16 people were banned from entering libraries across the county after breaking the rules.

The figures were obtained following a Freedom of Information request to Norfolk County Council.

Statistics show that five people have been banned from the Millennium Library at the Forum in Norwich and two from Great Yarmouth Library.

People have also been found breaking the rules in King's Lynn, Thetford and Stalham libraries.

Stalham Library.
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLYStalham Library. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

A spokesperson for Norfolk County Council said: "All visitors to our libraries have a right to enjoy and use them without being disturbed by offensive behaviour or language, and we take any violation very seriously."

READ MORE: Norfolk's most overdue library book revealed as borrowers rack up £740,000 in fines

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Norfolk's list of reasons for library bans includes one person being kicked out for viewing inappropriate images and four for antisocial behaviour.

Other reasons include incorrect details being provided and breaching the acceptable use agreement.

Norfolk County Council's libraries all adhere to a set of 26 byelaws which can be found on the council's website, and which fall under section 19 of the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964.

Great Yarmouth Library.Great Yarmouth Library.

Some of the rules ban people who are "offensively unclean in person or in dress", or who are "suffering from an offensive disease", from entering or using the library.

Once an individual is banned from one library, they are prohibited from entering any library that is run by the county council.

The spokesperson said: "The national library byelaws were created some time ago and adopted locally.

"While we aim to adhere to the byelaws, we acknowledge they need to be interpreted for the 21st century.

The outside of Great Yarmouth Library. Picture: Abigail NicholsonThe outside of Great Yarmouth Library. Picture: Abigail Nicholson

"As long as due respect is paid to copyright and to maintaining the condition of books, there is no restriction on pictures of books being taken (with the exception of local history items)."

- Have you ever had a problem in a Norfolk library? Contact abigail.nicholson@archant.co.uk

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