Info Gluttony

A Clean Well-Lighted Place

Posted in books, thinking about cities, urban planning by echan on February 24, 2010

I’ve come across a couple of things today that have emphasized the importance of public libraries as a space for the homeless to seek shelter, knowledge, and entertainment.  From my loving mother, here’s a link to an AP piece* about how the main branch of the SFPL is the first library in the country to hire a full-time social worker to counsel its homeless visitors.  The NY Times also recently published an informal chat of sorts with a homeless man who splits his time between the NYPL for the Performing Arts and nearby movie theatres (link via Kottke).  This brings me back to Bradbury’s vision of the library as the ultimate refuge:

“Libraries raised me,” Mr. Bradbury said. “I don’t believe in colleges and universities. I believe in libraries because most students don’t have any money. When I graduated from high school, it was during the Depression and we had no money. I couldn’t go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for 10 years.”

*The title of the AP piece features the term “San Fran.”  I don’t find this offensive, but I’m puzzled as to how “San Fran” found it’s way into the AP Stylebook.

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4 Responses

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  1. ToastyKen said, on February 24, 2010 at 5:12 am

    I’m more baffled by the Times’ use of “till”.

    • echan said, on February 24, 2010 at 5:24 am

      Looks like a typo that made it pass the editing staff.

  2. greg said, on February 24, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    Somewhat related, and too bad I can’t find the post I read, but there’s a movement towards designing (new libraries) and retro-fitting (old libraries) to be community spaces with coffee shops, auditoriums, multi-media rooms, etc…to expand the notion of what a library is for people who don’t ordinarily go there.

    But here’s a link to the design for the new library in Århus Denmark.

    http://www.e-architect.co.uk/aarhus/aarhus_library.htm

    • echan said, on February 24, 2010 at 7:51 pm

      I love the kayak floating on the water in front of the Aarhus library. The waterfront confers status on the library (the way SF bestowed it on Pac Bell Park with its China Basin spot).


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