• <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Autograph document signed by Junipero Serra and the other 5 heads of the Alta California missions. $50,000 to $70,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> A Rare 3-rotor German Enigma I Enciphering Machine. $70,000 to $90,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Important collection of correspondence between Werner Heisenberg and Bruno Rossi. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Walt Whitman Autograph manuscript containing his thoughts on death. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Miguel Venegas 24 pp autograph manuscript. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> David Roberts. <i>Holy Land</i>. Six volumes. 1842-1849. First edition. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Extensive collection of Ray Bradbury's primary works, most signed or inscribed. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Peter Force. Declaration of Independence. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Steinbeck. <i>Grapes of Wrath</i>. A fine copy of the first edition. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Lewis & Clark. <i>Travels to the Source of the Missouri River</i>... First English edition, extra-illustrated. 1814. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Manuscript document signed by Nuno de Guzman relating to Hernan Cortes, 1528. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> “Nos los inquisidores..." The first book in English printed West of the Mississippi. [1787]. $5,000 to $8,000
  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Case Antiques: Historic Winter Fine Art and Antiques Auction<br>January 27, 2018</b>
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 27:</b> <i>The Massachusetts Magazine: or Monthly Museum of Knowledge and Rational Entertainment,</i> 1789. Signed by George Washington. $28,000 to $32,000
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 27:</b> George Washington Signed Letter to John Marshall. $12,000 to $14,000
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 27:</b> Picasso Signed “Vallauris” 1952 Exhibition Poster. $6,000 to $8,000
    <b>Case Antiques: Historic Winter Fine Art and Antiques Auction<br>January 27, 2018</b>
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 27:</b> Military appointment commission document signed by both President Thomas Jefferson and Secretary of War Henry Dearborn, dated January 27, 1803. $2,400 to $2,800
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 27:</b> Doris Ulmann and Julia Peterkin. <i>Roll, Jordan, Roll.</i> New York, 1933, deluxe edition, preceding first edition of the same year. No. 74 of 350. $5,000 to $6,000
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 27:</b> John Marshall. <i>The Life of George Washington,</i> Philadelphia, 1832. Signed by author. $5,000 to $7,000
    <b>Case Antiques: Historic Winter Fine Art and Antiques Auction<br>January 27, 2018</b>
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 27:</b> Samuel L. Margolies (American, 1897-1974). Aquatint and etching, "Builders of Babylon," 1937. $4,000 to $4,500
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 27:</b> Two Robert E. Lee (1807-1870) signed documents as President of Washington College. $3,000 to $3,500
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 27:</b> William C. Harris. <i>The Fishes of North America That Are Captured on Hook and Line</i>, Vol I., New York, 1898. 40 chromolithograph plates. $2,000 to $2,500
    <b>Case Antiques: Historic Winter Fine Art and Antiques Auction<br>January 27, 2018</b>
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 27:</b> $100 "Date Back" bank note 1902 from the Clarksville National Bank, Clarksville, Tennessee, depicting the portrait of John Jay Knox, Jr. $1,400 to $1,800
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 27:</b> View of the University of Virginia, Charlottesville and Monticello, Taken from Lewis Mountain, drawn and lithographed by Edward Sachse. $800 to $1,000
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 27:</b> Large Civil War photograph mounted on card stock depicting Rossville Gap in Missionary Ridge. $400 to $450
  • <b>Potter & Potter Auctions: Fine Books & Manuscripts. January 27, 2018</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions Jan. 27:</b><br>Lot 39: Presidential Pardon Signed by John F. Kennedy. November 1962. $7,000 to $9,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions Jan. 27:</b><br>Lot 537: Marc Chagall. <i>Illustrations for the Bible</i>. Features 28 lithograph plates. First American edition, 1956. $2,000 to $3,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions Jan. 27:</b><br>Lot 252: Jack Kerouac. <i>On the Road</i>. 1957. First edition. $5,000 to $7,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions: Fine Books & Manuscripts. January 27, 2018</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions Jan. 27:</b><br>Lot 143: Arthur Rimbaud. <i>A Season in Hell</i>. With photogravures by Robert Mapplethorpe. The Limited Editions Club, 1986. $600 to $800
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions Jan. 27:</b><br>Lot 72: Group of 11 Harry Truman Signed Letters. Typed & signed by the former President. 1962-1970. $1,500 to $2,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions Jan. 27:</b><br>Lot 157: Arthur Conan Doyle. The Complete Works of Sherlock Holmes by The Limited Editions Club. 8 vols. 1950-52. $300 to $500
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions: Fine Books & Manuscripts. January 27, 2018</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions Jan. 27:</b><br>Lot 173: Jacob Lawrence. <i>The First Book of Moses, Called Genesis</i>. Illustrated with silkscreens by Lawrence. 1989. $2,000 to $3,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions Jan. 27:</b><br>Lot 239: William Faulkner. <i>Sartoris</i>. First edition. New York: Harcourt, Brace, & Company, 1929. $2,000 to $3,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions Jan. 27:</b><br>Lot 286: Walt Whitman. New Year’s Eve Postcard Signed, “Walt Whitman,” to the poet Gabriel Sarrazin. January, 1891. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions: Fine Books & Manuscripts. January 27, 2018</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions Jan. 27:</b><br>Lot 351: Pair of European Fine Bindings. Including Gesanbuch (1831) & Naboznych Vylevov (1911). $200 to $300
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions Jan. 27:</b><br>Lot 423: August Luben. <i> Naturhistorischer Atlas der Saugethiere </i>. Includes complete set of 30 loose plates. Leipzig: 1858. $1,000 to $1,500
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions Jan. 27:</b><br>Lot 386: <i>Famous Monsters of Filmland No 1</i>. Art by Will Elder, text by Forrest Ackerman. Warren’s first monster magazine. Feb, 1958. $2,000 to $3,000

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>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 15:</b> Icons & Images: Photographs & Photobooks
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 1:</b> Vintage Posters Featuring Highlights from the Gail Chisholm Collection
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 8:</b> Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 13:</b> 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 22:</b> Autographs
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 29:</b> Printed & Manuscript African Americana
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Apr 12:</b> Printed & Manuscript Americana
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Apr 26:</b> Fine Illustrated Books & Graphics
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 3:</b> Graphic Design
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 15:</b> 19th & 20th Century Literature
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Jun 7:</b><br>Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Jun 21:</b> Revolutionary & Presidential Americana from the Collection of William Wheeler III
  • <b>Sotheby’s, New York: Fine Printed and Manuscript Americana, Including Cartography. January 17, 2018</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Jan. 17:</b> Hayden, Ferdinand V. <i>The Yellowstone National Park, and the Mountain Ranges of Portions of Idaho, Nevada, Colorado and Utah</i>. Boston, 1876. $250,000 to $350,000
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Jan. 17:</b> Colton, G. Woolworth. <i>Colton’s New Map of the State of Texas, The Indian Territory and Adjoining Portions of New Mexico, Louisiana, and Arkansas</i>. New York, 1882. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Jan. 17:</b> [Jefferson, Thomas]. <i>The Committee appointed to prepare a Plan for the temporary Government of the Western Territory, have agreed to the following Resolutions.</i> … [Annapolis, 1 March 1784]. $250,000 to $350,000
    <b>Sotheby’s, New York: Fine Printed and Manuscript Americana, Including Cartography. January 17, 2018</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Jan. 17:</b> Mitchell, Samuel Augustus. <i>A New Map of Texas Oregon and California with the Regions Adjoining. Compiled from the Most Recent Authorities</i>. Philadelphia, 1846. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Jan. 17:</b> Bodmer, Karl [illustrator] — Prince Maximilian Zu Wied-Neuwied. <i>Reise In Das Innere Nord-America In Den Jahren 1832 Bis 1834</i>. 1839-1841. $250,000 to $350,000
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Jan. 17:</b> Bry, Theodor De, Thomas Hariot, and John White. <i>[Hariot's Virginia]. Wunderbarliche, Doch Warhafftige Erklärung, Von der Gelegenheit und Sitten der Wilden in Virginia</i>... Frankfurt, 1590. $200,000 to $300,000
    <b>Sotheby’s, New York: Fine Printed and Manuscript Americana, Including Cartography. January 17, 2018</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Jan. 17:</b> Bry, Theodor De, Thomas Hariot, and John White. <i>[Hariot's Virginia]. Wunderbarliche, Doch Warhafftige Erklärung, Von der Gelegenheit und Sitten der Wilden in Virginia</i>... Frankfurt, 1590. $200,000 to $300,000
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Jan. 17:</b> Catlin, George. Catlin's North American Indian Portfolio. Hunting Scenes and Amusements of the Rocky Mountains and Prairies of America. London, 1844. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Jan. 17:</b> Franklin, Benjamin ["Richard Saunders"]. <i>Poor Richard Improved: Being an Almanack and Ephemeris ... For ... 1756</i>. Philadelphia: B. Franklin And D. Hall, 1755. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Sotheby’s, New York: Fine Printed and Manuscript Americana, Including Cartography. January 17, 2018</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Jan. 17:</b> Paine, Thomas. <i>Common Sense; Addressed to the Inhabitants Of America... A New Edition, with Several Additions in the Body of the Work</i> ... Philadelphia, [1776]. $60,000 to $80,000
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Jan. 17:</b> The Declaration of Independence. In Congress, July 4, 1776 … Salem, Massachusetts-Bay: Printed By E. Russell, By Order Of Authority, [Ca. 18–20 July 1776]. $1,000,000 to $1,500,000
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Jan. 17:</b> Hamilton, Alexander, James Madison, and John Jay. The Federalist. A Collection of Essays, Written in Favour of the New Constitution … New York, 1788. $200,000 to $300,000

Article Search

Archived Articles

Ask Questions