Public library reponds to denying entry to man with service dog

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SAN DIEGO – The downtown public library is retraining their staff due to a local man who said he was kicked out because of his service dog Thursday afternoon.

Bill Brierley was planning on seeing the downtown city library for the first time, but when he got to the front door he was turned away by security allegedly because his reason for having a service dog did not meet library policy, according to Brierley.

He captured the incident on video and shared the footage with Fox 5 exclusively.

“Three security guards literally stopped me, got in my way, prevented me from entering the building, and demanded answers. The service he provides is medical alert, and I was told quite frankly and bluntly by the head librarian … that’s not good enough,” said Brierley.

Brierley shows Fox 5 the service letter on his cellphone, but says the library security and administration demanded details of his illness.

“To be pressured into divulging what the medical condition is that I have and the medical service he provides is inappropriate, it’s a violation of my privacy and a violation of the American with disabilities act and my civil rights.”

Legal analyst Jonathan Brenner agrees with Brierly’s claim.

“It’s a medical issue and its no one’s business what that issue is,” said Brenner. “The Library was absolutely wrong and I think it will be proven wrong, and I think the city will hopefully issue an apology to Bill.”

Brenner adds that in some cases, service dogs can be turned away from businesses if they are misbehaving.

“The video and pictures of the service dog show a very well behaved, dossal, well trained service dog that should have been admitted into the public library. This is a public library and it doesn’t get more public than that,” said Brenner.

Fox 5 reached out to the library again Friday for comment but we were referred back to public information officer, Marion Moss Hubbard.

“The City of San Diego Public Library prides itself on serving all San Diego residents. In fact, the library system has a dedicated disability services librarian to work with patrons with accessibility needs, and recently conducted a manager-level training on service animals. We will be reviewing our policies and procedures and conducting another training to ensure we are providing the highest level of customer service to all library patrons,” said Hubbard.

Brierley said he doesn’t plan on pursuing a legal claim against the library, he only hoping for an apology.