In a new program introduced this month, the library will begin working with Salt Lake County Human Services, the Utah Department of Workforce Services and Salt Lake City police to direct patrons to social services including homeless shelters, mental health counseling or substance-abuse prevention programs. But only with patrons’ consent, Hancock stressed.
"We’re not forcing services down anyone’s throat," Hancock said. "Everyone’s welcome here. Most people spend their time here productively. We don’t want to stop that. But this is a place where we have a large homeless population, and we want to provide services to those who might need them most. This is a great opportunity to focus on a larger challenge."