Library Policy on Homelessness

The library policy on homeless cards is:

“Hennepin County Library will issue a library card, with regular borrowing privileges, except for a limit of ten items checked out at one time, to customers who are homeless. Identification requirements are waived for purposes of issuing a card.”

It then goes on to say:

“If the customer is living in a shelter, the shelter address may be used. This would not be considered a “no permanent address” registration. If the customer is living in a shelter the card should be mailed to the shelter to verify the address. Regular borrowing ruels and privileges apply.”

I would only note that some shelters have a policy of not keeping mail if you are not currently a resident there. This means that if you are at St. Stephen’s and end up at Simpson, St. Stephens would not collect your mail. Since homelessness often involves moving from shelter to shelter, you might not get your card if they mailed it. This is not academic, as my address changed from St. Stephens to Simpson in the course of one week. Had the library tried to send me a card, it is unlikely I would recieve it. Therefore, a better policy is to issue the card to the person directly.

If I read it correctly, it also seems that homeless people may have a limit of borrowing that regulars don’t, but the language seems contradictory.

I was also informed out of state residents could still get temporary internet passes if they show an out of state id.

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