The Buffalo and Erie County Public Library partners with Pacemakers to help reduce complaints of students being disruptive after school.
The director of the library, John Spears, tells 7 News reporter Yoselin Person, the library had to close its doors earlier than normal for the past two weeks.
“There have been some issues, but we want to move past that and invite the teens in with the Peacemakers to engage in constructive activities,” he explains. “We’re going to be having the Peacemakers here and there will be four or five of them that we’ll station at the library and they’ll be helping us engage with the teens to make sure the library is a place where everyone walks in our doors that they have a home.”
The founder of Peacemakers, Pastor James Giles, says he’s ready to set his plan to help the downtown library.
“We’re training Junior Peacemakers,” Pastor Giles says. “Meaning this group of Peacemakers would speak to their peers regarding nonviolence and how to handle things and resolve conflict.”
Giles says he’s confident that building relationships with the youth will help bring back the library’s regular hours and have a safe space.
“We have to remember that stuff has been hardwired from whatever environment that they came from, so I have to be as understanding about that and not personalize it,” he says. “And puts me in a position where I’m able to de escalate, so I encourage adults to kind of use those softer methods when dealing with our youth.”
The library's director feels this partnership with Peacemakers will meet the needs of many.
“Like I said earlier this was a difficult decision for us, but I honestly feel when we return to our full hours,” Spears says. “This library will be a place where hopefully everyone will hopefully find their place and feel at home.”
Regular hours will be back at the Buffalo and Erie County Library Monday, March 27th.
Those hours are Monday through Thursday from 8 am to 7 pm.
Friday and Saturday, 9 am to 5 pm, and Sunday, 12 pm to 5 pm.
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