It happens 77,000 times each week in the Sacramento region – someone picks up up a copy of the Sacramento News & Review. Now there’s one spot where the Review’s unapologetic perspective on “living la vida local” can no longer be found.
“We’re too hot to handle for the Roseville library,” said SN&R publisher and CEO Jeff von Kaenel.
That’s what the tabloid’s publisher has to say after delivery drivers were recently turned away from Roseville library lobbies and told the space was being reserved for city publications in an effort by the city to clean up its act.
“In one of the needs assessments for the libraries…when they were coming in some of our patrons felt they were being bombarded with different news articles and papers. It wasn’t anything about trying to deny free speech,” said Dominick Casey, Roseville’s director of parks, recreation and libraries.
But you’re not going to convince the folks at SN&R of that, because 100 people picked up a copy of their paper each week in the Roseville library lobby.
“To have a library of all places, but wanting not to have people check out information seems to be not fulfilling their mission,” said von Kaenel.
At least three other free publications have also been kicked out of Roseville library lobbies. SN&R is the only one that’s complained.
The Martinez family comes to the now SN&R-less downtown branch several times a week.
“Bunnies,” shouted Che, 6, as he eagerly shared what he likes to read about. Che’s dad Rudy says clutter never opened a chapter on aggravation for him at the library.
He never’s seen a lobby he considered messy. “Not that I recall,” he said.
Roseville’s civic center and community centers have been operating under the clutter-free policy for several years.
Rudy and the rest of he Martinez family could still read the News and Review at their favorite branch, but von Kaenel passed on the chance to have a copy on file there like the Sacramento Bee. It’s a move that surprised Casey.
Von Kaenel says the real surprise is that any library would do this. Even when informed that libraries in Saint Louis, Saint Paul and in Mountain View, California have policies similar to Roseville’s, he was still critical of the concept.
“So out of hundreds of thousands of libraries we have a few…um…people who are making a mistake around the country. So we want to adopt those mistakes in Roseville?” he questioned.