HOUSTON – Those who want to browse books at Houston's (search)public libraries should get enough sleep, eat and bathe before they begin to peruse the shelves.
On Wednesday, the City Council passed a series of library regulations that some say are an attempt to discourage homeless people from visiting the public buildings.
Library officials said people have been using the libraries as temporary shelters, restaurants and changing stations. The new ordinance prohibits sleeping on tables, eating, using restrooms for bathing and "offensive bodily hygiene that constitutes a nuisance to others."
Two council members voted against the ordinance, saying it was a direct attack on the homeless.
"I understand what they're trying to do, but when you start targeting a community like the homeless, I think that's poor policy," council member Ada Edwards (search) said.
Mayor Bill White (search) said there have been several complaints from the public about abuse of the city's libraries.