• <b>Cowan’s Auctions: An Eclectic Collection: The Library of the Late Dr. Ivan Gilbert of Columbus.<br>June 5-26</b>
    <b>Cowan’s, June 5-26:</b> [Voyages and Travel] Churchill's Voyages 1732 - Complete in 6 Volumes.<br>$5,000 - $7,500.
    <b>Cowan’s, June 5-26:</b> [Illustrated] Alice by Salvador Dali, Signed and Limited. $3,000 - $5,000
    <b>Cowan’s, June 5-26:</b> [Literature] The Little Prince - Signed/Limited First French Edition, 1943; #61 of 260. $5,000 - $7,500
    <b>Cowan’s Auctions: An Eclectic Collection: The Library of the Late Dr. Ivan Gilbert of Columbus.<br>June 5-26</b>
    <b>Cowan’s, June 5-26:</b> [Literature] Gone With The Wind, 1st in DJ, May, 1936. $1,500 - $2,500
    <b>Cowan’s, June 5-26:</b> [Literature - Modern Firsts] Rare Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer, Obelisk Press Paris - 1934. $2,000 - $3,000
    <b>Cowan’s, June 5-26:</b> [[Sporting - Fishing] Rare - Lee Sturges, Salmon Fishing New Brunswick, 1 of 50 Printed - 7 Original Etchings.<br>$4,000 - $6,000
    <b>Cowan’s Auctions: An Eclectic Collection: The Library of the Late Dr. Ivan Gilbert of Columbus.<br>June 5-26</b>
    <b>Cowan’s, June 5-26:</b> [Voyages and Travel - Maritime] Rare Ledyard Account of Cook's Last Voyage, 1783 Hartford, Howes "d".<br>$10,000 - $15,000
    <b>Cowan’s, June 5-26:</b> [Illustrated - Maxfield Parrish] Knave of Hearts, Scribner's, 1st Hardback Edition, 1925 Parrish Illustrations.<br>$750 - $1,000
    <b>Cowan’s, June 5-26:</b> [Bible - Illustrated - Cartography) Massive Dutch Bible, 1682, Contemporary Colored Maps, Working Brass Clasps. $2,500 - $3,500
    <b>Cowan’s Auctions: An Eclectic Collection: The Library of the Late Dr. Ivan Gilbert of Columbus.<br>June 5-26</b>
    <b>Cowan’s, June 5-26:</b> [Women Suffrage - Civil Rights - Autographs] A Unique Extra-Illustrated Life of Susan B. Anthony. $15,000 - $20,000
    <b>Cowan’s, June 5-26:</b> [18th Century French Manuscript] Unpublished History of Belle-Isle-En-Mer, 1754 With Watercolor Illustration.<br>$10,000 - $15,000
    <b>Cowan’s, June 5-26:</b> [Illustrated - Children's - Movable] Wonderful 19th Century Lothar Meggendorfer Moveable Book. $750 - $1,000
  • <b>Now in press: 19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> <i>The First American Magna Carta. English Liberties.</i> Boston, 1721.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Babbage presentation to Peel, the man who killed the Difference Engine 1832
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> The Stamp Act. 1765
    <b>Now in press: 19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Central Park Photographs by Prevost 1862
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Salem Witch Trials. Wonders of the Invisible World 1693
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Mammoth print of Millie-Christine, "The Carolina Twins" c. 1868
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Inviting Quality Consignments</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 30:</b> Carte-de-visite album featuring a previously unrecorded image of Harriet Tubman, 1860s. Sold for $161,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jun 7:</b> Hovhannes Amira Dadian, first world atlas in Armenian, Venice, 1849. Sold for $37,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 16:</b> T.E. Lawrence, <i>Seven Pillars of Wisdom</i>, privately printed edition, inscribed, London, 1926. Sold for $62,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Inviting Quality Consignments</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 14:</b> 22 large-format photographs from NASA missions, 1965-84. Sold for $43,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21: </b> Charles M. Schulz, <i>Here Comes the Big Polar Bear</i>, pen & ink, 4-panel Peanuts comic strip, 1957. Sold for $12,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 4:</b> Elliott Erwitt, photograph of JFK & Eisenhower, signed by both, 1960. Sold for $32,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Inviting Quality Consignments</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 9:</b> John Milton, <i>Paradise Lost</i>, first edition, London, 1668. Sold for $22,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 30:</b> Frederick Douglass, Autograph Letter Signed to George Alfred Townsend, Washington, 1880. Sold for $100,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Jan 26:</b> <i>Les Maîtres de l'Affiche</i>, 5 volumes, Paris, 1896-1900. Sold for $47,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Inviting Quality Consignments</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 16:</b> James Joyce, <i>Ulysses</i>, first edition, number 724 on handmade paper, Paris, 1922. Sold for $33,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 9:</b> Single leaf of the Gutenberg Bible, Mainz, 1455, in a copy of Newton's <i>A Noble Fragment</i>. Sold for $52,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 27:</b> The Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, NY, 1830. Sold for $52,500.
  • <b>Pierre Bergé and Associés in association with Sotheby’s:<br>De la musique avant toute chose… June 28, 2017</b>
    <b>Pierre Bergé and Associés in association with Sotheby’s, Jun 28:</b> Roland de Lassus. [Songs and madrigals]. Album gathering three collections of secular music for tenor. 15.000-20.000 €
    <b>Pierre Bergé and Associés in association with Sotheby’s, Jun 28:</b> Richard Wagner. <i>Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.</i> Original edition corrected and annotated by Wagner. 60.000-80.000 €
    <b>Pierre Bergé and Associés in association with Sotheby’s, Jun 28:</b> Claude Debussy. <i>La Damoiselle élue</i>. Lyrical poem, after D.-G. Rossetti. Limited edition of 160 copies. 6.000-8.000 €
    <b>Pierre Bergé and Associés in association with Sotheby’s:<br>De la musique avant toute chose… June 28, 2017</b>
    <b>Pierre Bergé and Associés in association with Sotheby’s, Jun 28:</b> Stéphane Mallarmé. Handwritten notebook made by Geneviève Mallarmé. No place or date [circa 1910]. 10.000-15.000 €
    <b>Pierre Bergé and Associés in association with Sotheby’s, Jun 28:</b> Henri Sauguet. <i>Les Forains</i>. Ballet. Reduction for piano. Original edition. 20.000-30.000 €
    <b>Pierre Bergé and Associés in association with Sotheby’s, Jun 28:</b> Athanasius Kircher. <i>Musurgia Universalis sive Ars Magna Consoni et Dissoni in X. Libros digesta.</i> 1650. 30.000-40.000 €
    <b>Pierre Bergé and Associés in association with Sotheby’s:<br>De la musique avant toute chose… June 28, 2017</b>
    <b>Pierre Bergé and Associés in association with Sotheby’s, Jun 28:</b> François Villon, & Clément Marot. <i>Les Œuvres de François Villon de Paris, Reviewed and gathered by Clement Marot.</i> 15.000-20.000 €
    <b>Pierre Bergé and Associés in association with Sotheby’s, Jun 28:</b> Rainer Maria Rilke. <i>Larenopfer</i> (Offrande aux dieux Lares). The second collection of Rainer Maria Rilke, containing ninety poems. 6.000-8.000 €
    <b>Pierre Bergé and Associés in association with Sotheby’s, Jun 28:</b> Paul Éluard. <i>Capitale de la douleur.</i> One of the most beautiful poetic collections from the first surrealist wave. 15.000-20.000 €
    <b>Pierre Bergé and Associés in association with Sotheby’s, Jun 28:</b> Pierre de Ronsard. <i>Les Amours</i> ... newly augmented by him, and commented by Marc Antoine de Muret. 40.000-60.000 €

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - September - 2015 Issue

Libraries Morph to Homeless Shelters

05cf43ba-85b7-41ca-851f-94f468fb2250

Homeless patrons at the San Francisco public library which has been the focus of recent heated controversy. SF Examiner photo.

Libraries have always attracted a certain number of people who just want to come in out of the rain, use the bathroom or snooze away the day in the cool reading room. But a review of recent media coverage makes it clear that something much more intense and widespread has been occurring in public and college libraries throughout the US in recent years.

 

The reports come from just about every urban area: Seattle, San Francisco, San Diego, Washington, DC, Nashville and Honolulu are just a few of the cities where homeless patrons not only access the library facilities, but overwhelm them: arriving early in the day, staying until closing time, bringing all their worldly goods in shopping carts, populating the stacks, monopolizing the resources, especially the computers, devastating the public restrooms, performing acts of vandalism on the buildings and their contents, and in some case committing acts of violence and intimidation against other patrons.

 

Even as libraries evolve and change from a repository mainly for books and their contents to a digitized and multi-media information hub with a broader focus and a wider user base, a parallel transition is also taking place. The library facilities designed to serve the information needs of our entire population are becoming de facto outposts for delivery of services to America’s homeless, a role for which they have little or no training - and a task that has not been in their job description before.

 

In some cases this evolution is benign and even welcome.

 

For example, a Dec. 2014 report on the death of Roger Boucher, 58, of St. Albans, Vt. notes: “(He) was a daily visitor to the St. Albans Free Library; where he had been staying longer in recent days. ‘He was kind of part of our little library family,’ said library director MaryPat Larrabee. Barbara Hamm, a long-time board member of Martha's Kitchen, knew Boucher for many years. ‘He was a very honest person,’ she said. ‘He found, I don't know how many wallets. They were all returned to their owners…..At the library, Boucher would offer to help as soon as he spotted a staff person moving boxes or getting out a ladder,’” said Larrabee. "He was always wonderful at the public library;" said longtime library trustee Sue Wade, adding that he was very polite, as well as helpful.”

 

But that kind of tribute is rare and it’s easy to find countless articles and videos that focus on the other end of the spectrum. Perhaps the most explicit is the long article in Harper’s Magazine in Nov. 2012 by Robert Andrew Powell who wrote about his own experiences as a homeless person among hordes of other indigents in the then brand new Seattle facility.

 

“The bathrooms," wrote Parker, “are located on the first, fourth, and seventh floors, and all of them are as busy as bus terminals. The toilets on the fourth floor are the least used. There are only two stalls, and it is common for occupants to remain in them for an hour or longer, until guards making their rounds order them to wrap things up. In a fourth-floor stall I once found a pyramid of empty Busch tallboys.

 

“The seventh-floor bathroom is the best: three urinals, three toilets, five sinks, and a guy wearing a face mask who mops up every few hours. Excessive grooming is prohibited in the library’s rules of conduct, but every day I saw teeth brushing, clothes washing, hair washing, and even hair cutting. In a seventh-floor sink one Saturday I found a nest of curly black pubic hair. People hung out in the stalls for long stretches even though the doors were deliberately designed to be too short to provide privacy. Everyone could see everything. I learned not to make eye contact.”

 

And it’s not just the public libraries, in March 2015 KPIX the CBS-TV affiliate in San Francisco aired these observations related to a nearby college: “Students at San Jose State University say the campus has a problem with homeless that is getting out of control. Trent Nunz is a fourth year business student who says the problem is so bad that students “can’t walk out of any individual building without seeing at least a couple homeless, anytime of the day. Anytime.”

 

“Madonna Ebrahimof says it’s not just the volume of homeless people living on campus, but that they have become intimidating and aggressive...Inside the library, students clash with the homeless over desk space, and open computers.”

 

That same note is sounded in Honolulu where a July 2015 video shows homeless cueing up to enter the building before it opens, and as a group have become the library’s primary patrons during the course of the day, far outnumbering other kinds of library users.

 

The response of Edna Weeks, library section head, who spoke to the KITV - Honolulu television reporter, was compassionate and level. She said that as long as those who come to the library are orderly and follow the rules the facility is there to serve all. But others library users who spoke to the camera had comments that ranged from “I feel like regular people are being pushed out” to “I just don’t go there any more.”

 

Virtually all the recent coverage contains some combination of compassion mixed with fear and dismay. In San Francisco (where the interaction between the library and the homeless has been loud and protracted) the library has hired a social worker, beefed up security and negotiated with advocates for the homeless over policy and rules to make the library more friendly and equitable to those with no place else to go.

 

This kind of outcome has pleased advocates for the homeless, but others, especially those who are professionally trained librarians, comment “I didn’t get a master’s degree in library science to be a social worker.”

 

The professional organizations and journals have also noticed the trend. American Libraries wrote about it in Nov. 2014 and added a list of resource material including a link to an eight page pdf produced by the American Library Association Office for Literacy and Outreach which gives guidelines for delivering services to homeless as another segment of the population who are entitled to fair and non-discriminatory library policies.

 

“Helping homeless and mentally ill clients is a challenge that libraries all over the country are grappling with,” observed the website Phys.org just last month, “but library science curricula don't seem to have caught up….According to one newly minted librarian who received her master's degree in library science a few years ago, contemporary library education typically includes no coursework in mental illness. It focuses on the techniques and technology of library services, especially meeting the needs of patrons for access to information.”

 

An even more down-to-earth note was sounded in a column by the “Annoyed Librarian” who wrote in the Library Journal in Oct. 2014 that the list of prohibited activities in the San Francisco library controversy has 32 items and specifically includes: “shampooing your hair in the restrooms, having a shopping cart in the bookstacks, having luggage in the library, having a bike in the library, having a dog in the library, smelling really bad, fighting, shouting, panhandling, sleeping in the library and ‘depositing bodily fluids’ on furniture.”

 

“That’s quite a list,” Annoyed observed, “and gives a good indication of what the library staff is up against.” The article went on to say that “if the San Francisco public libraries have become de facto homeless shelters, as National Public Radio (coverage) suggests, then making them more like de jure homeless shelters might be the best solution to the problem.

 

“People smell bad?” the librarian wrote, “Offer showers. That’ll also make it less likely people will try to bathe in the restroom sinks.”

 

“Their clothes still stink? Laundry facilities. ….People changing clothes in the library? Changing rooms, right near the laundry room and the showers. People sleeping all over the library? Offer cots. They can come with a time limit. Carrying their luggage around the library? Lockers.”

 

“..... Considering how many librarians want the nature and function of public libraries to move away from books, information, and literacy to become community centers and maker spaces,” the writer said, “this shouldn’t be an outrageous suggestion.”

 

“If libraries are already loaning tools, why not washing machines? They already have toilets, so why not showers? …. Libraries can’t solve any problems with homelessness, and this isn’t a solution for homelessness problems. This is a solution for library problems…. if the mission of public libraries is now to provide whatever services the public wants or needs, then this makes complete sense.”

----------------

 

 

Links to some of the sources cited in the text:

 

ALA pdf on homeless engagement and outreach (not dated)

 

Phys.org news

 

Harper Nov 2012 - long article about the Seattle Public Library inundated with homeless patrons

 

Tribute to homeless man a regular at St. Albans, Vt library 2014

 

Honolulu video July 2015 KITV

 

The Annoyed Librarian offers plan B in Library Journal 2014

 

San Jose State and homeless KPIX-TV, CBS affiliate report March 2015

 

American Libraries Magazine 2014

 

 

Other related links

 

Salon website March 2013

 

The Conversation web site Aug 2015

 

April 2015 Nat.Geo pictorial homeless in California libraries

 

Nashville 2015

 

Atlantic 2014- Libraries and Mental Illness (short)

 

Washington Post feature article August 2015


Posted On: 2015-09-01 18:22
User Name: KALAMOS

I am old enough to remember serving indigent clients in public libraries in the UK in the 1960's and later on even in more affluent Toronto. The point to note is that the quantitative rise in their numbers is a reflection of the underlying economic situation where there are fewer jobs, less pay and consequently more homeless citizens, just as during the 1930's.

There is an interesting article about library services in he USA during the Great Depression [http://www.desertsailor.info/libs/Depression/Index.php]
that is worth reading. It begins with this observation " "Libraries will get you through times with no money better than money will get you through times with no libraries."

As to the behaviour of some of the library users this the direct consequence of the underfunding of both social housing and mental health facilities, leaving Public Libraries as one of the few agencies open for long hours in the daytime where they can find warmth, washrooms and non-threatening public spaces. The solution will be to provide more social services to such unfortunate citizens, but I am not sure that public libraries - or librarians - can provide such services appropriately, lacking both sufficient resources or training .


Posted On: 2015-09-14 15:36
User Name: colophon2

One first needs to define "Public" and what is the intent and purpose of the facility. The chance that a neglected person will 'make good' from 'using' the library books is slim, although we all wish that could be 99%. Many libraries retain 70% of their collections in the back areas and out of the stacks, which defeats the purpose for most library users. Our country began with Private Libraries, who were subsidized with public funds. If we are going to build multi-million dollar facilities for books, then they should be available to users, and most importantly, these sources should be utilized. An alternative plan is to build small Private Libraries for use by subscribers, and build huge multi-million dollar social facilities for the homeless, who can then utilize these sources to make a credible leap for surviving the ills of this world. But, isn't that what we are presently paying our taxes to accomplish? Where are the trusted politicians who are responsible for addressing and taking action to correct this dilemma?


Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July 8: Rare Books & Manuscripts</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions July 8:</b><br> Walter Gibson's Complete Run of The Shadow. 48 bound volumes, 1931-44. $8,000-12,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions July 8:</b><br> Frederic Shoberl, The World in Miniature: Hindoostan. 6 volumes. $2,000-4,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions July 8:</b><br> A Rare Copy of the Earliest Chicago Newspaper to Report on the Great Fire of 1871. $6,000-8,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July 8: Rare Books & Manuscripts</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions July 8:</b><br> Broadside Proclamation by Mayor Roswell B. Mason for the Preservation of Good Order Following the Great Fire of 1871. Chicago. $4,000-6,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions July 8:</b><br> Peter Force Engraving of the Declaration of Independence. One page. Scarce and highly collectable. $15,000-20,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions July 8:</b><br> John Quincy Adams. The Jubilee of the Constitution. A Discourse. First edition. Inscribed. 1839. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July 8: Rare Books & Manuscripts</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions July 8:</b><br> Cuban Revolution: Expedicion y Desembarco del “Granma.” Havana, ca. 1959. With portraits of the Castro brothers & Che Guevara. $150-250
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions July 8:</b><br> Osuna Ramos. A group of 28 photographs of the Mexican Revolution & aftermath in Mexico City, 1910-1920. 4½ x 6”. $400-600
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions July 8:</b><br> Charles Bukowski. Hot Water Music. First edition with original signed painting. 1983. $2,000-4,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July 8: Rare Books & Manuscripts</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions July 8:</b><br> Alan Ginsberg. Five Page Autographed Letter. Signed. February 10, 1971. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions July 8:</b><br> Andy Warhol’s Children’s Book. Featuring 12 color illustrations. Signed 5 times. 1983. $5,000-7,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions July 8:</b><br> Albrecht Durer. The Martyrdom Saint John the Evangelist. Woodcut, 1511 edition. $1,000-2,000
  • <b>Bonhams London: Fine Books, Atlases, Manuscripts and Photographs. June 14, 2017</b>
    <b>Bonhams Jun 14:</b> Ireland - Patrick Pearse & The Easter Rising. The Order of Surrender, typed and signed (“P. H. Pearse”) and dated, 1916. £80,000 to £120,000
    <b>Bonhams Jun 14:</b> Portolan chart of the Mediterranean, centered on Sicily. Manuscript on vellum, 1637. £40,000 to £60,000
    <b>Bonhams Jun 14:</b> Goya Y Lucientes (Francisco José de). [Tauromaquia] <i> De las diferentes suertes y actitudes del arte de lidiar los toros…</i> 33 etched and aquatint plates. £15,000 to £20,000
    <b>Bonhams London: Fine Books, Atlases, Manuscripts and Photographs. June 14, 2017</b>
    <b>Bonhams Jun 14:</b> Magna Carta. Engraved Facsimile of the 1215 Magna Carta, engraved by John Pine and printed on vellum, 1733. £10,000 to £15,000
    <b>Bonhams Jun 14:</b> Swift (Jonathan). <i> Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World ... by Lemuel Gulliver</i>, 4 parts in 2 vol., first edition, Teerink's "A" edition, 1726. £10,000 to £15,000
    <b>Bonhams Jun 14:</b> Darwin (Charles), Robert Fitzroy and Philip Parker King. <i>Narrative of the Surveying Voyages of His Majesty's Ships Adventure and Beagle, Between the Years 1826 and 1836…</i>, 1839. £10,000 to £15,000
    <b>Bonhams London: Fine Books, Atlases, Manuscripts and Photographs. June 14, 2017</b>
    <b>Bonhams Jun 14:</b> Rackham (Arthur). Cinderella, in rags, standing at a window, within a framework of mice, mystical creatures and plants, from "Cinderella", [1919]. £8,000 to £12,000
    <b>Bonhams Jun 14:</b> Royal Family - St George's Chapel and Princess Charlotte. Papers of John Fisher, successively Bishop of Exeter and Bishop of Salisbury, overseer of the redecoration of St George's Chapel… £8,000 to £10,000
    <b>Bonhams Jun 14:</b> Hemingway (Ernest). <i>Fiesta [The Sun Also Rises]</i>, first English edition, Jonathan Cape, [September 1927]. £6,000 to £8,000
    <b>Bonhams London: Fine Books, Atlases, Manuscripts and Photographs. June 14, 2017</b>
    <b>Bonhams Jun 14:</b> Barlaeus (Caspar). <i> Rerum per octennium in Brasilia</i>, first edition, Amsterdam, Joannes Blaeu, 1647. £6,000 to £8,000
    <b>Bonhams Jun 14:</b> Repton (Humphry and J. Adey). <i>Fragments on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening…</i>, first edition, 1816. £5,000 to £7,000
    <b>Bonhams Jun 14:</b> United States - Photography. "360 Photos of American Scenery. Collected by Norman Selfe on the Spots Represented in 1884", [1880s]. £4,000 to £6,000

Article Search

Archived Articles

Ask Questions