Council says no to nude Dudley library group

Naturist bookworms had some bare-faced cheek – when they asked for permission to strip off and hold regular nude reading sessions at a Black Country library.

The nude reading group offered to bring in towels so that members could cover the chairs they would sit on and robes to put on in case they needed to flee if there was a fire alert.

But Dudley Library chiefs vetoed the idea on the grounds it would cause too much disruption and not be a 'proper' use of publicly owned premises. They have, however, offered to supply books to them if they decide to meet to read in the nude at a member's home.

Dudley Councillor Stuart Turner, chief of the borough's libraries, agreed the idea of such a group was a bit of an eye-opener.

"I was a bit surprised by the request," said Councillor Turner. Personally I wouldn't have the first clue about what the attraction would be of a nude reading group. They wanted to use a room in the main library on a Saturday morning.

"I heard they would bring towels to protect the seats. But it's an approach we declined because it would not be an appropriate or proper use of public premises."

He added: "It's not for us to make a judgment on what anyone does but public nudity isn't the norm and we have to operate within certain levels of decency.

"It would also have caused massive disruption – we would have had to set aside quite a substantial room every Saturday morning, which would be a disruption if it was any group.

"I never worried about whether Mrs Jones was going to go round a corner and bump into someone with no clothes on – and didn't even get round to considering whether we might have to black out the windows or how it might affect the comings and goings of staff who needed to use the room."

The Express & Star would like to hear from the nude reading group that made the request – or indeed any nude readers in the area – on 01384 353201.

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