When you come to a public library expecting to do SERIOUS RESEARCH and you find,instead, a scene that could have been out of a Fredrico Fellini film or from the lower depths of hell --- THAT surrealist, then you have been RIPPED OFF by MY WAY OF THINKING!
This is the central library that is downtown Austin,Texas as I found it a year ago. I hope it has changed since then.
This place is called the John H. Faulk Central Library and he was somewhat of a folk hero around Austin, Texas.
According to Wikipedia, "The main branch of the Austin Public Library was renamed the Faulk Central Library in 1995 as a tribute to Austin's native son and his fight against the blacklist and for the rights of all people to have free speech and expression."
But I don't think they meant it to be a day spa and for the assorted odoriferous,hostile homeless people with their loud voices, edged weapons they sometimes use to rob patrons with and some of these people have serious psychiatric issues.
They have UNARMED security personnel and librarians but these people are trained to be LIBRARIANS NOT psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, case workers, law enforcement, EMS and any of the other things that these poor unfortunate people need.
The last time I went there, a year ago, I found used syringes in the rest room, people bathing in toilet bowls, and a bag of what appeared to be some sort of herbal substance someone had stashed behind some directories.
Some of my genealogy research was stolen and a homeless man pulled a knife on me the next to the last time I went to do family history research.
I can remember when I used to come to the old library with my school friends and it was safe. I would not have children of mine come here now because they might be abducted and pulled into a restroom and who knows what would happen. You might not ever see them again. It was THAT kind of place! We didn't need our parents along because we would be OK without them NOT ANYMORE!
The main attraction seems to have been the public access computers located on the second floor, The same ones where the genealogy database is contained online in the reference section.
It was no fun to watch them fight over computer usage, curse,belch, scratch lice, swig alcohol when they thought nobody was looking and generally bring up internet porn on the computers regardless of who might be offended by this.
Enough is enough!
I am not sure how long this "Downtown Library" has been in its present location ,perhaps since 1995 but the construction already looks like it was never built to last! It looks much older and of shoddy design and materials.
To make matters worse, the present city council there appear to be beholden to all sorts of REAL ESTATE DEVELOPERS especially since the present mayor WAS one so they are talking about tearing down the library and replacing it with, what else, CONDOS. I hope they don't tear down the original library which is next door and considered a historical building which is not The Austin Historical Center BUT BUILDINGS THAT STAND IN THE WAY OF REAL ESTATE DEVELOPERS TEND TO BURN UP MYSTERIOUSLY! OR IT JUST SEEMS THAT WAY...
In fact, there is a very SICK JOKE going around now that the Governor's Mansion fire was the result of a REAL ESTATE DEVELOPER being too drunk to give the "torch" the right address...or maybe he was a DEMOCRAT Real Estate Developer ( Texas Governor Perry is a Republican).
(When I hear about another beautiful old building going up in flames, it hurts because THESE WONDERFUL BUILDINGS WERE A HERITAGE FROM OUR ANCESTORS! )
No word about who is going to live in these condos stacking up in downtown Austin if the economy continues to tank but , hey, these elected officials here have always been out of touch.
They NEED TO FIND APPROPRIATE HOUSING FOR THE HOMELESS POPULATION!
Putting them in central booking is not the answer.
Putting them in Austin State Hospital is not the answer because there is not enough room there anymore. Besides, the State got rid of most of that facility to REAL ESTATE DEVELOPERS and they tore down most of the old grounds. Even going as far as to take out the cemetery and not really caring if they removed all of the remains of the former patients or not.
THEY NEED TO BAN THE THREATENING AND DISRUPTIVE ONES OUT OF THE PUBLIC LIBRARY UNLESS THEY ARE THERE TO DO SERIOUS RESEARCH,HOMEWORK, READ QUIETLY, USE THE PUBLIC ACCESS COMPUTERS FOR THEIR DESIGNATED TWO HOURS PER DAY, AND KEEP THEIR DRUG DEALING, PROSTITUTING ( MALE & FEMALE), AND GENERAL THUGGERY OUT OF A PLACE WHERE IT DOES NOT BELONG!
I WAS AFRAID TO EVEN GO INTO THAT LIBRARY AND I HOPE THAT THINGS WILL CHANGE IN THE NEW LIBRARY THEY ARE PROPOSING TO BUILD!
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!