County Civil Grand Jury Reports on the Homeless in Pasadena Libraries

From Pasadena Now

“The increase in homeless people is pressuring public libraries beyond the provision of books and information into services typical of “social infrastructures” and the Los Angeles County Civil Grand Jury has some recommendations for Pasadena’s libraries to navigate the transition.The Grand Jury’s report is scheduled to be examined by Pasadena City’s Council during Monday night’s meeting.The report concludes with recommendations. Some of them applied to Pasadena’s City libraries and require responses, which city staff prepared for approval in anticipation of the Council meeting.The Civil Grand Jury is watchdog for the citizens of Los Angeles County. Its members are drawn from all five supervisorial districts and work as a committee in choosing the issues it investigates and reports on.The document on the homeless is one of nine included in a final report submitted to the Superior Court. The report being heard Monday at Pasadena City Hall is called “The Impact of the Homeless on Public Libraries.”“The library has become a shelter for the homeless to get out of the cold and to escape from the heat; but it is not the ideal sanctuary for their predicament,” the report said.As social infrastructure, the report said, libraries have taken on the function of community hubs where library users discover access not only to books, “but to companionship with other patrons as well, busy parents find virtual childcare; language instruction for immigrants, and welcoming safe space for the homeless and the young.” Parks, playgrounds, schools and other government-supported public spaces also fall into the category of social infrastructure.”