BUTTE - The library in Butte serves everyone. Including those with nowhere to go.
“A patron by any other name is still a patron. We want everyone to feel welcome here,” said Butte Librarian Shari Curtis.
The library in Butte, like libraries across the country, sometimes attracts some of the city’s homeless who often go there to escape the cold in winter or use services like the internet. Library officials welcome them if they follow the rules. However, officials are aware this can create some issues with the public.
“We certainly don’t want it to become a situation where we scare off other patrons. We don’t want the homeless to feel unwelcome and we don’t want grandma to feel like she can’t bring her grandkid in,” said Curtis.
Since the library is on the front line of the homeless issue, it is hosting a forum on homelessness at the Covellite Theater next week to show a feature film about how a library dealing with the homeless, followed by a community discussion.
“We do have people who are standing at the reference desk crying because they’re hungry, so we’ve put together a list, put together information say here go to the Knights of Columbus for a free lunch, go to the Rescue Mission Thrift Store for free bread,” said Curtis.
And while the Butte Public Library is more than happy to open its doors to anyone looking for services they hope this forum will help bring agencies in Butte together so a solution to the homeless issue can be worked toward.
“Open up a dialogue about it, because these are not easy questions that are going to be solved by any one group. I think we need to work more together,” she said.
The forum will be held Sept. 13th at 6:30 p.m. at the Covellite Theater at 215 W. Broadway. It is free to the public.