Librarians are becoming affordable housing advocates. Yes, you read that right

“A new group is joining the push for more affordable housing: city libraries. Yes, it’s true. Public libraries, in the District and around the country, have long been considered “day shelters” where the homeless hang out until the shelter’s open at night, said Robin Diener, president of the Friends of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, near Gallery Place in downtown D.C.As the city experienced an unprecedented spike in homelessness this winter, libraries have been seeing more homeless residents use their facilities. The group is proud that homeless residents would take advantage of the library system, a place Diener called a “sanctuary for the mind.” But is also comes with challenges, particularly when homeless residents use the bathrooms to shave, groom or, in some case, do drugs. So the city’s homeless crisis, due primarily because of the city’s loss of low-income housing, has become an issue for the city’s library system.” (via The Washington Post)

One Response to “Librarians are becoming affordable housing advocates. Yes, you read that right”

  1. Sheena
    June 27, 2014 at 5:13 pm #

    Even without the problems these libraries are experiencing I believe it is a librarian’s place to advocate for the homeless and other minorities. Libraries promote democracy by making sure everyone has a voice. Usually the needs libraries fill are information and technology needs. Sometimes libraries fill needs for citizenship education, ESL, support groups, and even shelter. Libraries are (or should be) the center of the community, they should have the pulse of the population and librarians should be problem solvers.
    I feel the need to say all this because it shouldn’t be surprising that librarians are advocates for affordable housing. If it is surprising then we (librarians) need to step it up a notch and get more involved in our community issues.

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