PALM SPRINGS — In the interest of addressing homelessness in the community, The Friends of the Palm Springs Library are sponsoring a free screening of the film, “The Public,” written, directed, and starring Emilio Estevez.

The film “The Public” tells a timely tale as an unusually bitter Arctic blast has made its way to downtown Cincinnati and the front doors of the public library where the action of the film takes place. The story revolves around the library patrons, many of whom are homeless, mentally ill and marginalized, as well as an exhausted and overwhelmed staff of librarians who often act as “de-facto social workers” and care for those regular patrons. At odds with library officials over how to handle the extreme weather event, the patrons turn the building into a homeless shelter for the night by staging an “Occupy” sit in. What begins as an act of civil disobedience becomes a stand-off with police and a rush-to-judgment media constantly speculating about what’s really happening inside the building. The story tackles some of our nation’s most challenging issues, including homelessness and mental illness, and sets the dramedy inside one of the last bastions of democracy-in-action: your public library.

Although there is no cost for the screening, online registration is required. The event will feature a post-screening panel discussion about homelessness.

The event will be on Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the historic Camelot Theatres at the Palm Springs Cultural Center. To register for your free ticket, click here.

The panel of community leaders that will address local concerns and possible remedies to the homelessness issue includes Geoff Kors, Palm Springs City Council member and Homelessness Task Force member; Arlene Rosenthal of The Well in the Desert; Officer Christopher Smart of the Palm Springs Police Department; and a representative of FIND Food Bank. The panel will be moderated by Jeannie Kays, Palm Springs Public Library Director.

Friends of the Palm Springs Library were established in 1971 and have raised well over $1,000,000 for the library to date. Currently over 300 community members contribute annually to the Friends, and more than 30 of these contributors actively volunteer their time to assist the group with book sales, library programming and additional fundraising efforts. The Friends are also a registered charity with, making it possible, if selected by you when shopping online, for a percentage of most of the purchases you make to go to the Friends of the Palm Springs Library.

The Friends’ mission is to support the Library in providing world-class service to the community through the purchase of books, movies, music, the visual arts, furnishings and electronic equipment by advocating for funding, gifts and memorials. The Friends also raise awareness about the library and are the link between the Library and the community and its elected offi-cials. The Friends support programs that encourage reading, culture and the arts as well as volunteer-based activities to support our greater community. To learn more about the Friends or how to become a member go to their web site at

Image Sources

  • The Public: YouTube