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Library system snuffs out e-cigarettes
Board also reviews new state gun law
Visitors to Forsyth County's library branches won't be able to use e-cigarettes inside. - photo by FCN file photo

FORSYTH COUNTY — The Forsyth County Public Library board discussed two potentially contentious topics — guns and e-cigarettes — during a meeting Monday night.

In the case of the latter, the board decided to prohibit their use inside library buildings.

This policy aligns with a county ordinance that doesn’t allow people to use e-cigarettes in county-owned or county-leased buildings, said Anna Lyle, the system’s assistant director for support services.

Supporters bill e-cigarettes as a healthier alternative to smoking, with many saying they have helped them quit traditional cigarettes.

The library’s previous policy, which was implemented in 2009, did not address e-cigarettes, which are still a relatively new phenomenon.

The board also discussed the Safe Carry Protection Act, which went into effect statewide July 1. The law allows gun owners with proper permits to bring a weapon into a government building, with the exception of facilities with security measures such as metal detectors.

While permit-carrying library patrons are allowed to bring a weapon into a library, employees are prohibited from doing so.

“The new law allows government employers to decide, and our existing policy already said that employees were not allowed to bring weapons to work,” Lyle said.

She added that the library system has no plans to change safety procedures because of the law.

“What we’re allowed to do is pretty limited,” Lyle said. “Our option would be to have officers at all of our entrances. And with the number of branches we have and the number of entrances, we wouldn’t be able to afford that.”

There have not been any gun-related incidents at any of the county’s libraries since the law took effect.