Shhhhhhhhhhhhh! Security guards on patrol in Redbridge libraries to keep students quiet

Redbridge Central Library

Redbridge Central Library - Credit: Archant

Talking in a library usually meets with glares, shushing and even a disapproving tut, but at Redbridge Central Library, enforcement has become much more severe.

Security guards have been patrolling the library, in Clements Road, Ilford, hushing people, reprimanding chatty students and even throwing people out for being disruptive.

They have been drafted in by Vision Redbridge during the study period as libraries get busy with school pupils and students preparing for GCSE and A-level exams.

Security is also put on at Gants Hill Library, in Cranbrook Road, Gants Hill, and Fullwell Cross Library, in High Street, Barkingside, during peak times of the year.

Last week, a girl was reportedly removed from the quiet study area for talking.

A Twitter user called Cheryl wrote: “Security had to escort a girl out of the building because she was talking on the second floor...pathetic.”

The next day, on Thursday, a teenage boy was also removed for disturbing other people.

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He wrote on Twitter that he was “kicked out for making stupid noises”, including impressions of cows, sheep and goats.

Only one guard regularly patrols the library, but backup can be called in serious situations.

On Monday, a girl studying in the library said a guard called for assistance to deal with what she described as “a group of 12-year-olds talking”.

The uniformed security guards, wearing fluorescent vests, patrol the quiet study area of the library on the watch out for naughty students.

But not all users believe the guards make the library quieter.

Poonam Parmar wrote on Twitter that a guard was “making more noise than the kids shhh-ing everyone”.

A spokesman for Vision Redbridge, which runs Redbridge Council’s leisure services, said there has “always” been security at Redbridge Central Library to deal with anti-social behaviour.

She said a new contractor has recently been appointed with guards who are “a lot more visible”.

“They are there to maintain order and prevent theft from the premises,” she added.

The cost of the new security firm is met in the existing budget.