New page in attitude to homeless

New page in attitude to homeless

Ms Barton has tabled the item on statewide membership policies for the WA Public Librarians meeting on October 16.

National library service The Footpath Library contacted the City of Stirling following an article in the Express last month on the decision by staff at Inglewood Library to refuse membership to homeless man Anthony Maguire because he did not have a permanent address.

Mr Maguire had proof that he was living in an Inglewood crisis centre at the time.

‘We have also been in touch with Sarah Garnett from The Footpath Library Foundation and have received valuable information, including the Libraries are for Everyone Toolkit,’ Ms Barton said.

The Perth Footpath Library started in April and a representative from the organisation will attend the WA Public Librarian meeting. Ms Barton will start implementing recommendations this month from the Libraries are for Everyone Toolkit at the Osborne Library, the City of Stirling’s biggest library.

The Footpath Library founder Sarah Garnett said the toolkit had suggestions for libraries to be more inclusive for people without proof of a permanent address, ‘such as changing their membership requirements, so that customers do not need proof of address to join’.

‘They can just show a Centrelink card,’ Ms Garnett said.

She said the co-operation between The Footpath Library and the City of Stirling was good news.

‘It sounds like they are keen to change the culture of public libraries,’ Ms Garnett said.

Crisis centre manager Nick said he was glad the City of Stirling was pushing for changes to the policy.

‘It’s awesome; I think a wrong will be righted,’ Nick said. ‘The response from the public has been overwhelming.’