The Board of Trustees of the Jefferson County Library has adopted a tobacco and smoke-free policy for all library-owned buildings, vehicles and grounds, effective January 1, according to library director Pam Klipsch in a news release from the library. The use of tobacco products or electronic or smokeless cigarettes will be prohibited inside facilities owned or leased by Jefferson County Library, on library-owned property, and in library-owned vehicles.
“We are making this change to a tobacco and smoke-free campus because of the concerns expressed by many of our patrons and employees,” Klipsch said in the news release. “We hope this will create a healthier and more welcoming environment for everyone who visits the library.”
The current policy, in effect until the end of of the year, allows smoking in designated smoking areas outside the library buildings.
“We’ve had escalating complaints from visitors that smokers are not observing the designated smoking areas, are not using the containers provided to dispose of their cigarette butts, and are leaving tobacco debris all over the sidewalks and planting areas,” Klipsch said. “It’s become both unsightly and unsanitary, and the Board of Trustees has taken this action at the recommendation of the management team.”
Klipsch said library visitors still have the option to smoke or use tobacco products inside their own vehicles while they are on library property.
“We are not going to become the tobacco police,” she said. “As long as people don’t leave a mess on the property, they can do as they choose inside their personal vehicles.”
Jefferson County Library operates three branches: the Arnold Branch in Arnold, Northwest Branch in High Ridge, and Windsor Branch located in Barnhart. The library serves more than 81,000 registered borrowers of all ages and has an annual circulation of almost 650,000. Jefferson County Library is committed to connecting people with information and promoting reading and lifelong learning in our community.