There’s something wonderfully relaxing and welcoming about libraries. Not only are they full of good things to read, their quiet, contemplative atmosphere makes them the perfect place for introspective people to hang out in, too. The sanctity of a library can’t be broken by the rabble of everyday life, and perhaps that’s why homeless people in Zhejiang Province, China have taken to holing up in Hangzhou Municipal Library.

The library staff have garnered praise online for “allowing” homeless people to read there, but aren’t libraries for everyone, after all? Join us after the jump for some snapshots of homeless patrons enjoying some quiet time with a book.

▼ Here, a reader carefully washes his hands before handling the precious books.

▼ Many come to the library to study in order to better prepare themselves for future employment.

▼ This man, who carries his belongings in a worn-out plastic bag, seems completely focused on his studies.

▼ The staff report that many camp out in front of the library, waiting for it to open.

We think these photos serve as an important reminder that homelessness has many causes, and lack of education or drive are not necessarily among them. Kudos to the staff of Hangzhou Municipal Library for providing a safe and pleasant place in which people of all walks of life can better themselves.