So I work at a book store. And daily, I see the same people everyday. But my bookstore isn’t a library. We sell books, as best we can. So how busy is a free, public place that has sold itself as a place to go when you need help? How busy are libraries when hundreds of thousands of people really have no place to go? From the New York Times:
As the national economic crisis has deepened and social services have become casualties of budget cuts, libraries have come to fill a void for more people, particularly job-seekers and those who have fallen on hard times. Libraries across the country are seeing double-digit increases in patronage, often from 10 percent to 30 percent, over previous years. But in some cities, this new popularity — some would call it overtaxing — is pushing libraries in directions not seen before, with librarians dealing with stresses that go far beyond overdue fines and misshelved books. Many say they feel ill-equipped for the newfound demands of the job, the result of working with anxious and often depressed patrons who say they have nowhere else to go.
The local, state, and federal governments should pump some stimulas into these homeboys. It might be exactly what is needed to get people back up on their feet.