October 23, 2014

Security Getting Tougher at Downtown Minneapolis Central Library

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From the The Star-Tribune (Minneapolis):

Her bags and luggage in tow, Chelsea Harlan left the Salvation Army Harbor Light shelter and headed to the downtown Minneapolis Central Library, the soaring, $135 million glass and steel structure designed by internationally renowned architect Cesar Pelli.

Harlan visits three or more times a week to check her e-mail, Facebook account and log onto an online course she’s taking. “I have homework to do,” she said Friday.

Harlan, 26, is one of hundreds of homeless and poor people who flood the library daily, drawn by the warmth, computers and open space.

In recent weeks, the library has even started setting aside space for advocates to meet with the homeless twice a month and connect them with services offered in Hennepin County.

But as the number of homeless grows, so do the challenges, prompting ramped-up security, additional training for library staff and tougher enforcement of rules against sleeping and alcohol use. Last year, 1,321 people were asked to leave the library, more than twice the number ejected the year before.

Much More in the Complete Article

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Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.