I hope you’ll take a moment to read my director’s brief project on libraries and homelessness. It canvasses how we can become a resource hub for our neighbors experiencing homelessness. It was hard, but I had to pick just a few practical ideas in order to stay within the project length guidelines. Really it’s such a broad conversation. The articles I reviewed as part of the creation process for this project were very encouraging and reminded me again why this is such a special profession to be a part of!
This report addresses the key question of why individuals experiencing homelessness use libraries to meet their needs, and what libraries can do to enhance their services to this user group. The experiences of the Seattle Public Library and other institutions are referenced in reviewing core areas where libraries can take practical steps to ensure information access, interact with empathy, and create equity. Examples of steps to examine are: providing mobile internet access at homeless camps, training staff on gentle interaction with patrons in the library setting, and creating library cards for those without a fixed physical address.