Hodgetts, D., Stolte, O., Chamberlain, K., Radley, A., Nikora, L., Nabalarua, E., Groot, S. (2008). A trip to the library: homelessness and social inclusion. Social & Cultural Geography, 9(8), 933-953.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/3853
This article explores homeless men's visits to a public library. It shows how homeless men identified the library as a space for safety and social participation, at a time when the regional newspaper published an item questioning the appropriateness of their presence in the library. The news report promotes universal narratives that would exclude homeless people, showing the intimate relationship between the symbolic space of news, the material space of the local library, and the lifeworlds of homeless men. We report fieldwork in which we interviewed homeless men, library staff and patrons. In addition, we worked with journalists on follow-up articles foregrounding the positive function of the library in homeless men's lives, and to challenge existing news narratives that advocate the exclusion of 'the homeless' from prime public spaces.