Library Washrooms Locked Over Safety Concerns

Safety Measure Receives Social Media Criticism

Barrie Public Library took to social media to brag about its newly renovated washrooms this week, but caught some flak for pointing out the doors are locked.

After renovations were completed to the downtown Branch’s facilities, the decision was made to keep the doors to them under lock and key. Highlighting this fact brought about some ire from some on social media, while Library CEO Lauren Jessop points out it was done for safety’s sake, not to exclude anyone. “As many downtown urban libraries are experiencing, we’re having some issues with some unsafe activities in the public washrooms. Just for the safety of everyone using the washrooms, it seemed like a good idea to just have that little bit more knowledge of washroom access.”

“We just want to make sure the library is a welcoming space for everyone and this measure is just to make sure it is also safe for everyone.”

Lauren Jessop, CEO, Barrie Public Library

Jessop points out that while the nearby security guard can open the washroom on request, they’re not the only one who holds the keys “Any staff member at the library can open the washrooms.” she adds there are other options for the wee ones who can’t hold it. “there are some on the second floor of the library that are for children and families.”

Related: The Barrie Public Library Offers More Than Just Books

The two washrooms on the ground floor of the library were closed for a prolonged period, for extensive and much-needed renovation. It reopened Tuesday afternoon, following remodeling and replacement of floors, walls, counter, sinks, stalls and facilities.