“An unconditional place of welcome”: the sanitary pass required at the entrance to libraries is debated

Since Monday, August 9, you have to show your health pass to enter the various libraries, with the exception of specialized and university ones. In Paris, the BPI and the BNF are also exempt from health passes.

But this decision is far from unanimous. In Paris, several libraries have been on strike since July 22 to protest against the strict application of the health pass.

In front of the facade of the Vaclav Havel library in the 18th arrondissement of the capital, posters and barriers are present at the entrance. If the controls are well tolerated by visitors, this decision is reluctantly accepted. “If I were not vaccinated, I would not have the right to borrow comics, it annoys me to have to show the pass to have the right to do it”, confides a regular at France Info.

It is also necessary to wipe a few annoyed looks, even inappropriate insults as Frédéric, librarian explains: “it is not easy to manage, it is also what is tagged on the ground,” sanitary pass “with SS symbols, [on reçoit] reflections collabo. “

In this district in the east of Paris, the Vaclav Havel library is also a haven of peace for certain precarious audiences, certain migrants who find the internet, an electrical outlet or simply something to sit on there. “Libraries are an unconditional and universal place of welcome for everyone, proclaims Pascal Ferry, head of the library. The health pass supposes a restriction entry. In many cases for these most vulnerable groups, they don’t have this document … We try to redirect them to places where we can do antigenic tests or to a nearby vaccination center. “

But the question also arises in rural areas believes Alice Bernard, president of the Association of Librarians of France: “Madame Michu who needs to make an appointment to be vaccinated, she goes through the library to have access to the internet, and finally, we find ourselves having to fail at the entrance.”

Health pass in libraries, “it’s not easy to manage” – Report by Sébastien Sabiron

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