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New Central Library Could Be A Haven For The Homeless

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12/5/12-Members of the media got a preview of the newly renovated Central Library downtown today. After being closed for two years and following a $70-million rehabilitation, the 100 year old facility reopens to the public this Sunday at 1 p.m.  (KMOX/Brett Blume)

12/5/12-Members of the media got a preview of the newly renovated Central Library downtown today. After being closed for two years and following a $70-million rehabilitation, the 100 year old facility reopens to the public this Sunday at 1 p.m. (KMOX/Brett Blume)

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - The Central Library downtown has reopened with a new look but the same age-old policy of “all are welcome within these walls,” regardless of your position in life.

It just so happens that the library, which reopened Sunday after a 2 year, $70 million makeover, is located across the street from Lucas Park and near New Life Evangelistic Center, places where the homeless often congregate.

That might make it a tempting destination for those looking to escape the winter cold or summer heat.

Library director of Central Services Brenda McDonald says there’s no policy against it.

“We don’t want to make any types of judgments, we don’t like judgments on that,” McDonald said. “I think that is the beauty of a public library, that it’s always welcome. People of all background are looking for things to read or computers to use and that’s what we’re available for so we do not ask why they are here, we’re just happy they are here.”

Meanwhile, long-time fans of the library and those curious to see all of the changes have been pouring in, and McDonald says in 2013 they expect to double their pre-makeover average of 35,000 visitors a month.

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