Libraries are becoming a shelter and hangout place for more people than just students and book-lovers. You see people carrying backpacks overflowing with all of their possessions. Others are washing up in the bathroom. Some city libraries are starting to seem like a day homeless shelter.
Especially in this economy, more and more people are becoming homeless and don’t know where to turn. They seek shelter at the library in the day for warmth in the winter and air-conditioning in the summer. So is this a problem or an opportunity?
Some people are turned-off when they see homeless people in dirty clothes at the library. Different people react differently. Some are scared. Some are annoyed. Some are compassionate. Instead of turning away, we should be glad they are looking to the library for help. With the resources available, they can learn many things through reading, get help writing a resume, and set-up an e-mail account. These are just a few things that could help them get on track to finding a job. But there are guidelines that have to be followed for health and safety concerns. Libraries will not allow themselves to turn into homeless shelters. They should be a place where everyone can learn and use the resources available, not a place to goof around or sleep. As long as the rules are being followed, everyone should have the opportunity.
With the economy the way it is, libraries are busier than ever. People, whether homeless or not, are turning to the libraries free resources for learning and entertainment. And with the growing number of users and higher circulation rate, a larger selection is needed, as well as durable, replacement packaging that will last.