Daniel Flynn at The American Spectator laments the conversion of public libraries into homeless shelters.
I began to notice the trend, myself, when I lived in Richmond. I’d go to the main library downtown every so often to look at the sales rack of books, or do job research (the bank I worked for was being purchased by a much larger institution and the odds of near-term unemployment were looking ominous). The homeless were numerous: lounging on couches, lolling on the front steps. I remember one occasion when I was sitting at a small table reading, and a few feet away, on the other side of a bookshelf, I heard a seriously mentally-ill person delivering a monologue (to himself) about some very ugly sexual fantasies, tinged with homicidal urges. There was another fellow I’d see there all the time, looked kind of like the late ex-Surgeon General, C. Everett Coop (if he’d been very much down on his luck). He’d take books and magazines down from the shelves, and sit at a table scribbling page after page of notes on a yellowing pad of lined paper. Once he got up and placed a phone call to the office of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond and commenced a pro-abortion rant at whoever answered (I imagine it was probably an office secretary; the person apparently hung up on him after a minute or two).
These days, I believe the library maintains a policeman or two on the premises during business hours. Not as bad as the library described by Flynn in the linked article, but I still wouldn’t go in there now unless I was packing.