In a recent column of his (Friday, August 10, 2007), Wichita Eagle editorial writer and columnist Randy Scholfield asks the question: Why are libraries homeless shelters?
My answer to such a question is that libraries are not homeless shelters, they are libraries, plain and simple.
Libraries do not provide nighttime sleeping quarters and other needed services for people living homeless (e.g., showers, a washer and dryer for the washing of one's clothes and a meal, etc.), yet many homeless shelters do, however many of these limit when a person may be there from a given time at night -- if a bed or in some cases a floor space is available -- and then requiring one to be out at a certain time in the morning irregardless of one's health condition or how the weather may be outside or if the person has any where else to go to seek shelter.
That said however, libraries are a shelter of a sort for reading, study and learning, which offer a variety of educational type of resources as well as a place for any and all members of the general public to simply be, regardless of who they are or what their financial or housing status might be, this includes those of us who might be living houseless (i.e., often referred to as being homeless).