“Libraries from California to Colorado, Pennsylvania to Missouri, are finding themselves on the front lines of a battle they never anticipated fighting.”
Denver Public Library says its central location is somewhat of a homeless
“That is a role that we have not asked to play, but are playing,” says Michelle Jeske, the city librarian for Denver.
“The current administration’s early stances on civil liberties are troubling,” he said. “There are indications that they would support changes that could curtail free expression, whether it’s ending net neutrality or changing libel laws to make it easier to sue someone for saying unpleasant but true things about you.”
“It’s pretty important to the Kansas City library that we’re welcoming of all our patrons, everyone who chooses to be here. It doesn’t matter if they’re housed or not. That’s not an issue. Every citizen can use the library,” said AmeriCorps worker Emily Luedtke.
“We don’t judge anyone as they come in,” said Hawaii State Librarian Stacey Aldrich. “That’s the beauty of a library. That’s the way it should be. We’re one of the most democratic spaces.”
The Hawaii State Public Library System is seeking $146,556 over fiscal years 2018 and 2019 to hire a manager who would be responsible for training library staff statewide and creating partnerships with social service agencies.
“A big city library has turned around the way it deals with some of its most marginalized visitors. The Dallas Public Library has committed to not just tolerating—but welcoming—every homeless person who walks through the door.”
“Being in the downtown area, the Joliet Public Library is uniquely positioned to be able to partner with other organizations to provide assistance to the unsheltered here in Joliet,” said Megan Millen, Executive Director of the Joliet Public Library, in a news release. “Thanks to the generosity of the Joliet community, events like this are able to provide those winter essentials to the less fortunate residents of Will County.”
“For the past eight years, [librarian] Mr. Nembhard has turned the shelter’s day care room or its dimly lighted office into an intimate library, tapping into the imaginations of transient children with the hope of making reading books a constant in their lives.”
“Libraries attract a fair share of homeless and mentally ill,” said Wendy Hopkins, bureau chief for the California State Library’s Development Services Bureau. “We’re here to serve communities and many people come looking for answers to their problems.”
“Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City” , by Harvard sociologist Matthew Desmond, will be the focal point of the Multnomah County Library’s 2017 Everybody Reads community reading program. Desmond follows eight Wisconsin families who struggle to pay their rent. The book has received much critical praise – The New York Times described it as an “unignorable book,” adding, “after ‘Evicted,’ it will no longer be possible to have a serious discussion about poverty without having a serious discussion about housing.” The New Yorker excerpted it over two issues.
The library’s director, Valley Oehlke, who chose the title, called it “a very timely selection for our community.”