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No Loco Parentis

Saturday, January 1, 2005; Page A22

Paula Quint, president of the Children's Book Council, gave a nod of approval to parents who make a habit of dropping off their young ones in the children's section of a bookstore. She said that Borders and Barnes & Noble "are effectively baby-sitting your children, [while] you have two hours of uninterrupted book shopping" ["Bookstores' Story Time Not Just for Kids; Parents Use Occasion to Browse and Buy," Metro, Dec. 25]. As a former Borders employee, I wish to disabuse parents of this notion.

People who work in retail suffer from low pay ($6.25 an hour to start), chronic understaffing, a heavy workload and constant customer service requests. They are not nannies.

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Booksellers are not trained or necessarily inclined to make sure the toddler being dragged out the front door -- a daily occurrence -- is really with his or her parent.

Drink your latte, buy your CD, but don't let your child out of your sight.



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