There was an interesting quote in the blog:
Fear in all its forms stands out. It seems to take the shape of a giant circle of mutuality: the shelter staff and other providers are afraid of the homeless and the homeless are afraid of the staff; the citizen on the street, the merchant the householder, and whole communities fear the homeless, and the homeless fear the non-homeless citizens. And to complete the circle, the homeless are afraid of the homeless. Thus, everyone is afraid of the homeless, including the homeless themselves, and what is so terrible and intractable about this situation is that everyone is right to be afraid.Right to be afraid?!? Why!? Why is it right to be afraid of the homeless? In any interaction with a homeless person are you likely to be mugged? I don't know. I'm not sure what the fear is. Although, I've had it myself wandering through downtown Seattle on my own. What am I afraid of?
I then read an excellent post on a friend's blog. Actually, the part I enjoyed was in the comment. Here is the whole exchange.
But how does this translate to libraries? Sure there can be a Christian (or 'good person') response to homeless or poor people in the library. But can you expect that from librarians or other patrons in the library? I wish. The comment to the first blog entry is quite interesting.
I have no answers. I don't know if I'll be working in public libraries...but I'm interested in this 'problem' of a population that needs information as well and are feared so much in our society (and apparently other parts of the world as well).