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Library changes policy after mother denied card registration for her stepdaughter

Rhonda and Chloe Ostic
Posted at 11:28 PM, Aug 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-06 23:54:11-04

WACO, TX. — A visit to the library turned into a difficult conversation for a Central Texas mother after she was unable to register her stepdaughter for a library card because she was not a biological parent.

On Thursday, July 25, after a trip to the pediatrician's office, Rhonda Ostic stopped by the Waco-McLennan County Library to get her six-year-old stepdaughter, Chloe, a library card. However, her day took a turn when she was denied because was not Chloe's biological mother.

"That was frustrating and I shut down. I explained I was married to the dad and [the employee] still said 'We need dad to come,'" said Ostic.

According to the Waco-McLennan County Library, the old policy stated that in order for a child to get a library card, a parent or legal guardian must be present.

Since the two had just been at the doctor's office, Ostic had her marriage license and new drivers license on hand. However, she says she was unable able to show the documents to library employees because they never asked for them.

Ostic says what hurt the most was Chloe asking her why they had to leave and why she could not get a card.

The library told Central Texas News Now that as of Monday, July 29, they have implemented a new policy to ensure the situation did not happen again.

"I believe that this new policy is going to address those issues," said Director of Waco-McLennan Library Essy Day, "Our goal is to get everybody reading, and unfortunately this happened and it compelled us to work faster and hopefully it helps other families too."

Day also said it was never the library's intention for any misunderstandings, and the employee involved was only following the old policy.

"We recognize that this is the 21st century and families do look different," said Day.

Ostic hopes the new changes will help more families in which children see a stepparents, grandparents or legal guardians as their true parents.