DC Libraries No Longer Provide ‘Shelter' for Homeless

Behavior rules crackdown on misuse of facilities

WASHINGTON -- D.C. public library officials are cracking down on the city's homeless population.
New rules soon will no longer allow anyone to sleep, bathe or camp out at the Martin Luther King Jr. Library downtown.
The guidelines are designed to make the library less of a day-shelter for homeless people or other people not really using the libraries programs and services, said Pamela Stoval, a 12-year veteran of the library system who's run the King branch for almost three years.
The 450,000-square-foot building is being improved and modernized, with some traditional books being cleared out in favor of dozens of computers free to users and digital books and music offerings to appeal to modern users.
The library is installing more security camera as part of its efforts to watch over the library floors to make sure they're used for library purposes.
The library staff does help homeless people use the library computers to find social services and other help they may need.
The new behavior rules are expected to be in place by February.
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