Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Homeless Populations and Libraries

There is an interesting article and discussion at AlterNet entitled "America Gone Wrong: A Slashed Safety Net Turns Libraries into Homeless Shelters" at
http://www.alternet.org/stories/50023

It does a good jobs of talking about the realities of serving a homeless population and maintaining order in the library. This isn't anything different from what I have seen when I go into the Glendale or Pasadena libraries but I guess I'm paying more attention to it.

What is a little more interesting is the discussions that follow the article. There are the usual troll comments but one of the posts talked about how Quebec libraries have bouncers at the door to prevent the homeless from entering in the first place.

Don't know if that is true. There was another post by a public library employee who said that the solution was to force them back into mental health hospitals.

There was a lot of misinformation in the comments about who the homeless population is and what should be done about their use of a system that they aren't necessarily contributing direct tax dollars.

There are no easy answers to this problem.

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