What does it take to be a librarian in San Francisco?

What does it take to be a librarian in San Francisco?

1) You have to know how to shelve books.

2) You have to know how to check out books.


3) You have to know how to inject heroin addicts with anti-narcotic drugs.

In addition to checking out and re-shelving books, San Francisco library staffers may soon be trained to give lifesaving medication to reverse overdoses among the growing number of heroin users mixing in with the homeless in and around the Main Library.

The idea surfaced after an addict was found dead in one of the Civic Center library's restrooms in early February.

San Francisco's Main Library has become a magnet for the city's exploding homeless population. Coincidentally or not, the neighborhood has seen epidemic numbers of users of heroin and prescription painkillers – opioids such as codeine, morphine and OxyContin.

In 2016, the Main Library tracked 689 instances of patron misbehavior, ranging from vandalism and altercations to verbal disturbances and drug use[.]

... San Francisco has taken a compassionate approach when dealing with the problem, offering both free and unlimited access to syringes[.]

Questions for discussion:

1) Wouldn't it be more compassionate to put these people in a structured environment where they don't have access to narcotics but do have access to books (in a prison library)?

2) Why is there no mention in this article of the harassment and unpleasantness suffered by library patrons, who have to endure the awful smell, the bloody syringes, and the outrageous behavior of the drug addicts?  The article treats this as a public health crisis, ignoring the fact that these addicts have made the library unusable for many in the general public.

3) Would you go into a San Francisco library without a gas mask and a hazmat suit?

4) Would you go into San Francisco without a gas mask and a hazmat suit?

Ed Straker is the senior writer at NewsMachete.com.

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