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Banning Children from the Library?

I read on the Chicken Spaghetti website about an article on Tasha Saecker's Kid Lit website. Tasha writes about a public library in Ohio that has recently banned unchaperoned children under 14 from using the library in the afternoons. Tasha asks: "What message are we as libraries sending these future taxpayers and what message are we giving to the parents of the teens? Doesn't seem like a very positive one."

I completely agree (as does Susan Thomsen at Chicken Spaghetti)! I understand that libraries have conflicting patron needs, and that unaccompanied young teens can be difficult to handle. But if you have kids who want to be at the library, shouldn't you let them? Don't we want these kids to grow up reading books, and respecting libraries? The percentage of kids who read for pleasure drops off sometime around age 12 or 13 (per Paul Kropp in Raising a Reader; Make Your Child a Reader for Life). And no wonder, if libraries are going to kick these kids out. Do you readers have any thoughts on this? -- Jen