The library decorated our book drop as Santa’s Mailbox and we received our first letter within hours. After reflecting for some time on what we might do in response, we decided that posting here made the most sense. If you wrote the letter (or you didn’t) and feel that we could respond differently, please let us know.
This was the first year we’ve put out a mailbox for the library Santa and we are grateful that you took time to deliver our first Christmas letter to Library-Santa.
We share your heartfelt concerns for the homeless. There are few things that bring us as much sorrow as knowing that there are people young and old in our world who have so little and must often rely on the good hearts of others for daily survival.
Your letter bringing the apparent plight of one person to our attention brings us joy – certainly not in the situation of the person seeking shelter and care – but in that you show the compassion to reach out on their behalf. Thank you.
As much as the library would like to offer services to folks who need assistance, we are not positioned with the experience and the resources to do what you ask. That said, we want you to know that there are resources in The City that this person can call upon. Our suggestion is that, if you feel so moved, consider sharing the contact information for The San Francisco City and County’s Human Services Agency. HSA is a reputable and reliable place for anyone who needs assistance or is looking for more information about support services.
All of that said, we encourage you to carefully consider if approaching this individual is the best thing for you to do. We rarely ever know for certain what someone’s story is or that things are as they appear to be. If you do not feel comfortable reaching out to the person who appears to be seeking shelter on campus, please feel free to contact a USF staff member or USF Public Safety. Of course, we completely trust that you will discern how you will proceed.
Now, to your point about serving coffee in the library. We hear you. There is now a café in the Atrium serving coffee, pastries and a few other treats. The Atrium Café is open M-F 8:00A– 1:00P (spring and fall semesters) and we are in conversation with Bon Appétit to expand the service hours and menu. Hopefully we’ll soon have good news for the entire campus community on the coffee front.
Thank you again for your letter L.B. and we hope you have a peaceful Christmas holiday overflowing with joy, family and friends.
Sincerely, Gleeson Library