Serious Rule At The Yonkers Public Library

Some libraries have NO SMOKING or NO CELL PHONE signs on the front door. At the Yonkers Public Library?


I’m amazed that this is such a problem as to necessitate a laminated sign. I mean, I wasn’t planning on bringing any balloons inside…But it’s sort of a downer to know I couldn’t if I suddenly got the urge.


If you enjoyed reading this post, would you consider making a donation to help me make my first movie? The goal is $50,000, and to date, 1,728 Scouting NY readers have donated $36,348! Just $5 or $10 can make a difference - AND you get this snazzy Scouting NY sticker/magnet as a Thank-You gift! Click here to donate today!


And hey, if you've made it this far, why not follow us via RSS, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Tumblr?


  1. There is a class of fire alarm that goes off when a helium balloon pops near it – that is why the sign is there.

  2. It’s probably kids from the middle & high schools who created the need for the sign. I grew up about 10 minutes away and there was a tradition in my town of people bringing mylar balloons for you on your birthday for you to tie to your backpack. I could see some shenanigans ensuing with them at a library after school. Oh, and I’m also a librarian, so I think I am trained to forsee said shenanigans.

  3. Hey scout, I grew up around there and the library has always been a quirky place. That being said, the childrens room would really make for an excellent scene in a movie with the giant windows as backdrop. Very few libraries boast that kind of natural light….Ossoning library is another good one!

  4. I work in a hospital and no balloons are allowed in because of latex allergies–balloons can be deadly if you’re allergic to latex. Perhaps someone that works in the library or visits often has an allergy.

  5. I work in a shopping center and we don’t allow balloons either. If they get loose they can interfere witht he HVAC system.

  6. Scout, despite the well-meaning rationalizations of the previous commenters, you are correct. If there are really so many balloons in Yonkers that there needs to be rules in libraries about them, that IS peculiar.

  7. Can block CCTV cameras as well.

  8. I work in a library and we had a problem with balloons. The fire alarm system we used beams of some sort to detect smoke. Anything interrupting the beam would set off the alarm. They were a total pain, because workmen would also inadvertently set them off. Thank god, when the library was renovated, we got rid of that system.

  9. emily, i think it is hilarious that how you describe being a librarian and being trained to foresee shenanigans!

  10. I don’t speak Spanish, but biblioteca is my favorite Spanish word. It sounds like some kind of disco or something fun like that.

  11. In addition to problems with HVAC, blocking CCTV cameras, and generally being a pain to remove from high ceilings, the balloons can set off alarms. When I worked in a bookstore, balloons could float to the ceiling, and their movement (when the air circulations) would set off the night alarm if not removed before the store was closed and the alarm was armed.

    And I’m sure some kids think it’s funny to pop a balloon in a quiet library, which could be annoying.

  12. still–it makes me want to buy just 1 balloon, and look through the stacks 🙂

  13. Does anyone else find the second instance of “no balloons” (below “no globos”) a bit perplexing?

  14. @sonda, lol like if you read English, you would have read it above?? The whole situation seems a bit OCD doesn’t it?

  15. LOL, Jeremy.
    I agree. It’s a great word.
    I went to that kind of Biblioteca once.
    It was last spring at the main location of the New York Public Library near 42nd St. The Manhattan Cocktail Classic held it’s opening gala there. They turned the entire library, basement to top floor, into a giant party (no balloons that I recall).

    Talk about a lcoation! All I could do was drool over all of the interior architectural details that you don’t often notice without a higball glass in your hand. Seriously, I drove my friends nuts babbling about the bulding.
    But if they had more psties like that at libraries, the “Biblioteca” would be the most popular place in town! 😀

  16. Pornography is supposedly legal in public libraries (but see US v. ALA), but no balloons? I see from the comments there may be good reasons to ban balloons. So is it just helium-filled balloons? Are uninflated or deflated balloons included? Can condoms be considered uninflated balloons? Can the library search people’s belongings for balloons? Is balloon banning consider censorship? Does balloon banning discriminate against children in violation of the “Library Bill of Rights”? Should a balloon amendment be added? Is there a way to get a balloon carry permit? Is this a safe libraries issue? Anyway, thanks, Scout, for bringing this amusing issue to light.

  17. Thanks for the great laugh. I have seem some silly library signs but this is one of my favs. Balloons may be banned all over but I can’t recall, in my life, ever seeing a sign for it.

  18. oops – SEEN!

  19. When I first saw the sign I was perplexed as to why no globes were allowed at the library. Maybe only 2 dimentional maps? But the lobby has very high ceilings that would make it a pain in the neck to rescue a balloon and I believe you are all correct who stated that it will set off the alarms.

  20. I worked in an art museum once, where we had to have a similar no-balloon rule. We were right near a park that had lots of kids’ events, and we had a three-story high ceiling in the lobby with all kinds of motion-detector alarms.

    I developed a rescue system for whenever someone slipped a balloon in and invariably lost it. I’d get a second balloon, tape a thumbtack on it, and tie one end of an entire ball of string to it. Then, I’d float it up under the stray balloon, pop it with the taped-on thumbtack, and reel the second balloon back down.

  21. Melissa:

    That is a really great solution. We have that problem at our school gymnasium all the time. Thanks for the tip. I’m going to share it with some of the other parents/event organizers.


  22. hello!, First time poster and glad to be a part of the conversation .

  23. A balloon is lost in Yonkers.
    Call in the balloon squad cause this is super-serious. Who cares about the poor toddler who is crying because the slip knot on his wrist was insufficient we need to call the HVAC people and the fire department and then let’s pop that sucker so we can make the toddler cry even more. Wow.

  24. In the movie Minority Report, while escaping through the mall, balloons saved the day.

  25. I never would have thought about the fire alarm thing… but even knowing that, it is remarkable that there were enough balloons consistently coming in that they felt the need for a sign…