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The Oliver Wolcott Library has determined that the regular use of public space to conduct business is not supporting the library’s mission; therefore, we have concluded that paid tutors may not conduct the business of tutoring in the library. This policy was put into effect September 1, 2006. We made this decision after months of research, thoughtful discourse, and discussion.

We are gratified that activity levels in all categories of library operations have increased dramatically.

At the same time, the number of paid tutors conducting business in the library was also rising rapidly. During the school year, the library typically had more than four paid tutors each day with four to ten clients. Not only did they take space away from other library patrons, but many of the paid tutors also requested the staff take and forward messages to their clients, and utilized our phone line to set-up and monitor client appointments.

The business of paid tutoring was monopolizing our limited space often at the busiest times of operation (after school, early evening, weekends). The Connecticut State Library informed us that it was illegal to “rent” tables in our common, public-space area. Our attorney informed us that there were legal liability issues connected with allowing a business to conduct scheduled business activity within our facility. Patrons complained and questioned the obvious for-profit business transactions that were routinely taking place inside the library.

The Oliver Wolcott Library welcomes and encourages patrons of all ages and interests and we continue to strive for the growth of our patron base. However, we reasoned that it would be inappropriate for the library to invest town funds or donor funds to provide office space for businesses. If the library’s growth demands additional tables or space, this should be driven by increased patron use rather than driven by paid tutors’ need for increased office space.

To assist paid tutors and their clients, the library contacted several local organizations including the schools. The information collected about alternative locations is provided by request to any paid tutors.

The Board determined that any paid tutor, even if appointed by the school, is subject to this policy.

Adopted September 2006