People Kicked Out of Library for Sleeping


The Detroit Free Press has this article about new loitering polices in a library in Michigan. They are kicking out homeless people who are sleeping. I wonder if they would do the same to a college student who fell asleep studying for exams? The ACLU may get involved.\"After a crescendo of complaints, the city has posted advertisements to hire a part-time monitor, who will get up to $10 an hour to circle stacks and call police when patrons break library rules.\"

\"Those rules are being tightened with new wording to be posted forbidding loitering, library officials said.\"

\"And the city soon will request bids for outdoor surveillance cameras, which may be mounted on several city buildings, including the library, said Library Board of Trustees President Victoria Dickinson. Although there have been complaints about vagrants in the library for years, Dickinson said Tuesday, they have increased this year.\"

\"The library is a small part of this. The whole city has a vagrancy problem\" caused by homeless shelters that close in the summer and are only open at night in the winter, she added. That leaves dozens of homeless people with nowhere to go and nothing to do during the day.\"

\"But Royal Oak isn\'t the only city whose library has become a gathering place for homeless people. Pontiac once had 15 to 20 homeless visitors at a time in its library, said Bill Williams, that city\'s circulation desk supervisor.
Kary Moss, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, said Tuesday that the ACLU generally prevails nationwide in lawsuits filed on behalf of homeless people arrested for loitering or begging.\"

\"A library is a public entity. Whether someone is wealthy or homeless, by law they are entitled to the same respect and accommodation,\" Moss said. An anti-loitering rule may be enforceable but only if there are no exceptions, she said.\"

\"If teenagers congregate in a library and a loitering rule isn\'t enforced against them, for example, then it can\'t be used to eject homeless patrons, Moss said.\"

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