A community group is protesting the recent security measures and “over-policing” at the Millennium Library.
The City of Winnipeg installed metal detectors and employed security contractor GardaWorld to conduct visitor screenings on February 25.
Visitors with restricted items will be asked to remove them before being granted access to the library. In some cases, illegal items may be confiscated and reported to Winnipeg police.
“It’s been really dispiriting to encounter the new intrusive security screening measures, which were put in place without community consultation, and which go against the inclusive mission of the library,” said John Samson Fellows, a former Winnipeg Public Library writer-in-residence.
Millennium for All has organized a silent read-in this evening to protest the new security screening measures. The read-in coincides with the meeting of the Winnipeg Public Library Board.
The grassroots group has four demands for the city: stop the screening measures immediately; fund and house social services and supports at the library; meet with community organizations starting by June 1, 2019; and change library services to better meet the needs of marginalized people.
The group says while they believe library staff deserve to be working in a safe environment, they feel better social supports can achieve the goal of safety in a more humane way.