Dad kicked out of Hackney Central Library for ‘reading too loudly’ to autistic daughter, 5

Adam Marks with his daughter Susan. Picture: Adam Marks

Adam Marks with his daughter Susan. Picture: Adam Marks - Credit: Archant

A dad and his five-year-old autistic daughter were kicked out of Hackney Central Library – because he was reading too loudly.

Adam Marks with his daughter Susan. Picture: Adam Marks

Adam Marks with his daughter Susan. Picture: Adam Marks - Credit: Archant

Adam Marks was reading to his daughter Susan in the children’s section on Friday afternoon when he was reprimanded by a security guard for disrupting other library users.

He had been reading one of Susan’s favourite books, about turning frowns upside down, for fewer than 10 minutes.

“It was quite humiliating,” Adam told the Gazette, “but the worst thing is just that it was so daft.

“We were in the children’s section. If I’d been reading in the study section I would have understood it, but why can’t I read to my daughter in the children’s section? The library is for everyone.”


You may also want to watch:


Adam, 37, has to read particularly clearly to Susan due to her autism.

“You have to enunciate because of the way her brain is wired,” he said. “She’s easily distracted by other noises.”

Most Read

Susan’s condition means she requires extra guidance with reading. But according to her dad, a clerk in the NHS, she loves listening to stories.

“She loves books and especially likes being read to,” he said. But it takes twice as long for her to understand what’s being read out.”

Hackney’s community services boss Cllr Jon Burke said: “It appears a security guard who is a contractor working in the library may have acted-over zealously on this occasion.

“We welcome parents reading to their children in all our libraries and something clearly went wrong in this case.

“We will be making contact with Mr Marks to apologise and hope he and Susan will return to their local library soon.”

Hackney libraries’ terms and conditions state: “Library staff may refuse to loan items and may deny the use of a library to anyone who [...] behaves in a manner which is anti-social or which may disturb other library users.”

The family, who live in Lower Clapton, are regular library-goers – something Adam insists will carry on despite Friday’s incident.

What do you think? E-mail gazette.letters@archant.co.uk.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus