It's worth noting that libraries are the last of the commons and public spaces not currently exploited by the corporations. How long it remains that way isn't certain

Loitering is banned
Panhandlers are persecuted
Homeless are threatened

Without libraries, there aren't many spaces left for some people to merely *exist*

@cypnk Last year, I was in Oklahoma City looking for Internet & decided to go to the library but got there 15 minutes before it opened (at noon!)

I was one of at least 20 people waiting to get in, many clearly homeless. As we waited, I thought of every story held in these lives waiting for the library to open.

As soon as it opened, we all dispersed to different sections. People simply looking for a place to quietly exist.

@Tdorey It's an appalling testament to societal apathy and policy failures that these people must resort to the last shelter that won't punish them for not being "consumers"

Homelessness, pseudo-police state, libraries Show more

Homelessness, pseudo-police state, libraries Show more

Homelessness, pseudo-police state, libraries Show more

@cypnk this is a pretty solid chunk of the pie graph as to reasons why i'm not letting myself give up on my library studies

@cypnk I don't know what are panhandlers... can you explain plz? English is not my first language, sorry.

@soapdog Beggars, basically. "Panhandler" comes from what they use to collect money. Usually a pan, a cup, or an old plate

@cypnk oh, makes sense! Thanks a lot for explaining it to me. I agree that libraries should be preserved and not have these banishments happening, they should serve everyone.

@cypnk Point taken, but I don't agree they're the last - aren't parks also places where you can simply exist? Or have the authorities in your area taken to regarding someone sitting on a park bench as "loitering"?

@catseye They have. Police routinely make anyone, who doesn’t look like they’re enjoying nature, leave. They’re also asked for identification, which many don’t have, and they risk arrest for being annoyed or not being “polite enough”. Personal property is then searched and, at times, what little they have is confiscated

And park benches are now designed in such a way as to prevent anyone from sleeping on them

@cypnk The public libraries I am familiar with welcome homeless to use web terminals and to read. Librarians know that for many, they offer the only means of access to the Internet - including applying for jobs or benefits. They see it as part of their mission. Librarians are guardians of civil society in the U.S.

@tbeckett @cypnk librarians also consistently defend both privacy and the right to access information

@cypnk So to affirm and circle back your initial toot, we do need to protect the librarians and the libraries.

@Elizafox @cypnk this bring the question of why are the homeless in libraries in the first place? give them homes, then they're not homeless

@Elizafox @cypnk removing homeless patrons from the library and is violation of the ALA code of ethics and values and whoever is doing that theoretically could get disassociated (as in removed from the association)

Not that ALA membership is legally necessary to practice librarianship

Sign in to participate in the conversation

Follow friends and discover new ones. Publish anything you want: links, pictures, text, video. This server is run by the main developers of the Mastodon project. Everyone is welcome as long as you follow our code of conduct!