Libraries: who are we for?

Saw a twitter thread from @astrobri about plans for a new library to be situated within a shopping mall. She makes the very good point that while there are several good arguments for colocation, mall security tends to be unwelcoming to the unhoused, the racialised, and teenagers, among others. The tweet that really hit home for me, though, was this one:

Seems like we are always having this discussion around "how do we attract people who aren't using the library" (middle class plus folks who like the mall) at the expense of "how do we serve people who are desperately trying to use the library and are pushed out". (5:05 PM · May 10, 2022)

This is the trap we are falling into.