Thursday, August 10, 2006

Library discriminates against homeless … readers …

   Homeless people and libraries -- this must be about homeless persons who sit and sleep but who aren't really using the library, right?  Well, no, for once. 

   The public library of Worcester, Mass., says that it has had problems with homeless people not returning books and then being hard to track down because of their transience.  A new rule is that any person without a permanent address (shelters don't count) may only check out two books at once.  A homeless man who is a diligent library patron is suing, with the help of civil liberties groups.

   I have enough respect for librarians to accept their perception of a problem and support their decision to discriminate against transients, in at least some manner.  Disappearance of books is a real problem, and demanding a permanent address for those who want to check out a lot of books strikes me as reasonable.  But how about narrowly tailoring such the rule somewhat -- such as making an exception for any homeless person who has built a record of responsible book-returning? 

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/land_use/2006/08/library_discrim.html

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