In the latest example of the growing role modern libraries are playing in their communities, the San Diego Central Library will employ a social worker to assist homeless patrons who make up the majority of visitors each day.
San Diego Public Library director Misty Jones welcomes the addition of the social worker, an intern from San Diego State University working on her master’s degree in social work, and she’s optimistic that the move will create a better environment for all library visitors.
“We have to make it a safe place for everyone,” she said, adding that incidents involving drug use and psychotic episodes happen daily in the library, and too often the solution is to escort a person offsite, sometimes with instructions. not come back.
There has been a series of overdoses at the Central Library, and a homeless man committed suicide after jumping from an upper floor of the library in August 2019. The problem, however, is not unique to San Diego.
“I speak with my peers at other libraries across the country, and we’re all seeing the same thing,” Jones said. “Drug addiction and mental illnesses are very, very prevalent.”
Filed under: Libraries, News, Patrons and users, Public libraries
About Gary Price
Gary Price ([email protected]) is a librarian, writer, consultant and frequent speaker based in the Washington DC metro area. He received his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards, including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program Alumnus of the Year. From 2006 to 2009, he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy that supports enterprise product and business model teams with just-in-time fact finding and insight.