Tag Archives: Homeless

What happens when libraries are asked to help the homeless find shelter

“In 2008, the San Francisco Public Library considered a very unusual question. How, they asked the city’s homeless, can our library better serve you?  Officials weren’t looking for book club ideas. Over the past decade, the shrinking social safety net has turned many libraries into major care providers for the underprivileged. The homeless, in particular, rely on libraries for daytime shelter. It’s a big job, one that libraries — perpetually cash-strapped and understaffed — aren’t sure they’re equipped to handle. (via The Washington Post)

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INSIDE THE DENVER PUBLIC LIBRARY’S SUNRISE CONCERT FOR THE HOMELESS

“Every morning, a crowd gathers outside the Central Branch of the Denver Public Library. A few dozen people — many of them homeless — wait for the doors to open, when they can go inside to use the library’s computers and other services. On Tuesday, September 8, they had something to do besides stand around: That day, the library hosted a pop-up “Sunrise Concert” from 9 to 10 a.m. outside the main entrance. Videographer Kevin J. Beaty was there to capture the moment and lend some additional context — you can see his work above.” (via Westword)

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With no fixed address, two men start Toronto’s only underpass library

“Al is an avid reader. He estimates he reads a different book every two days. He reads so much, people give him new books all the time. Al had so many books, he and a friend decided to start their own library. Only Al has no fixed address. He lives on the street, and so his upstart library is also on the street. Toronto’s new library is under a small bridge on Lower Simcoe Street in Toronto.” (via CBC)

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Portraits of homeless people using libraries

“Libraries, “the last bastion of democracy,” are a haven for America’s 500,000 homeless people, where literature, Internet access, and nonfiction can come together to provide respite from the relentless brutality of life on the streets. In a series of moving portraits of homeless people using San Francisco, Sacramento and San Jose’s public libraries, Fritz Hoffmann tells a visual story of forgotten people in quiet reflection and study, and makes us remember something we’d prefer to forget. The librarians in the story see their role as defending democratic access to information and ideas and public space — in San Francisco, the library system now has a full-time social worker.” (via Boing Boing)

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No-sleeping rule at public libraries unwelcome change for Edmonton’s homeless

“Darren Richards describes the Stanley A. Milner Library as a quiet, safe haven. Richards has been homeless for four years and uses the downtown library daily, as a place to read, charge his cellphone and nap. That will change May 1, when the Edmonton Public Library implements a no-sleeping policy at all its branches. Louise Reimer, director of branch services, said the rule is necessary because the central library has become a “de-facto day shelter.” (via Edmonton Journal)

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