Posts filed under ‘homelessness’

She was homeless until a Detroit library stepped in to help

Libraries have long been repositories of knowledge, mostly through archiving and lending books, and places to go when school is out for the summer. In an age of the internet and Amazon, communities are trying to do more with these institutions as Bryant — and other residents — turn to them for help.

Now libraries are helping people find housing, jobs and start new lives.

Bryant credits the Detroit library’s Parkman branch — a place she visited as a young girl with her aunt — with saving her when she was homeless

July 4, 2018 at 5:09 pm Leave a comment

How public libraries help build healthy communities

A reason public libraries are seen as such important third-place institutions is that they and their librarians have gradually taken on other functions well beyond lending out books. In many communities, librarians are also ad hoc social workers and navigators. They help local people figure out the complexities of life, from navigating the health system to helping those with housing needs. This “go-to” role has influenced library programming and events, with libraries providing advice and connections to health, housing, literacy, and other areas….

“public libraries are dynamic, socially responsive institutions, a nexus of diversity, and a lifeline for the most vulnerable among us.”

May 20, 2017 at 1:15 am Leave a comment

Reducing Homelessness Through Library Engagement

Extending Our Reach: Reducing Homelessness Through Library Engagement


Downloadable printer version here:

May 20, 2014 at 12:54 pm Leave a comment

Reducing Homelessness through Library Engagement

Reducing Homelessness through Library Engagement

Extending Our Reach: Reducing Homelessness through Library Engagement,” the latest toolkit from the ALA Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS) is now available as a free print or digital edition.
Developed by the ALA Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) and the Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, “Extending Our Reach” offers tips, tools, resources, model programs, best practices and much more to assist librarians and library staffers in creating meaningful library services for people who are experiencing homelessness.
OLOS provides a series of outreach advocacy toolkits, including
  • “Literacy for All: “The Guide to Building Support for Your Tribal Library,”
  • “How to Serve the World @ your library: Serving Non-English Speakers in U.S. Public Libraries,”
  •  “The Small but Powerful Guide to Winning Big Support for Your Rural Library”
  •  “Keys to Engaging Older Adults @ your library.”
All OLOS outreach toolkits are developed by experts from the field and contain proven strategies and resources for librarians to enhance library services in their communities. The toolkit is available as an eight-page print edition for free (up to 20 copies), an easily-navigable Web edition or as a downloadable PDF file.
For more information on “Extending Our Reach,” and other OLOS toolkits, including ordering instructions, please visit

October 17, 2012 at 12:38 pm Leave a comment

Get Help Florida

The Get Help Florida site is a model for all communities.


The Get Help Florida site was created by the Pasco County Public Library Cooperative with funds from a Library Services and Technology Act grant. The site is intended to be a statewide portal to valuable e-government resources for those in need of help. With many government resources increasingly available online, it can be difficult for users in need of aid to find the help they need. The Get Help Florida site organizes hundreds of resources by category, enabling users to quickly and easily locate agencies that can assist them, no matter what their need.

June 11, 2012 at 2:27 pm 1 comment

Hunger, Homelessness & Poverty Task Force

In 1990, the American Library Association adopted Policy 61, Library Services for the Poor.

This “Poor People’s Policy” was developed to ensure that libraries are accessible and useful to low-income citizens and to encourage a deeper understanding of poverty’s dimensions, its causes, and ways it can be ended.

In 1996, members of the Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) formed the Hunger, Homelessness & Poverty Task Force to promote and implement Policy 61 and to raise awareness of poverty issues.

Hunger, Homelessness & Poverty Task Force

June 8, 2012 at 1:46 pm 3 comments

A Mission to End Homelessness: Miami-Dade County

“Public libraries play an important role in communities,” says Library System Director Raymond Santiago.

To provide support services to formerly homeless individuals and families, many with special needs, the Miami-Dade Public Library System joined forces with the county’s Homeless Trust and Carrfour Supportive Housing, a nonprofit organization that provides permanent housing.

From this innovative partnership—based on the “mixed use” approach to development and construction—emerged the new Hispanic Branch Library, which sits below the Villa Aurora Apartments, an affordable housing complex for previously homeless families. The project, the first of its kind east of the Mississippi, successfully combines functions with like-minded entities to create the best use of public facilities during tough economic times.

“Public libraries play an important role in communities,” says Library System Director Raymond Santiago. “Providing access to resources, learning, and discovery means our residents have the opportunity to become better prepared in school, in their jobs, and in improving themselves. Having a library inside the Villa Aurora complex means that we already have a built-in audience of learners. The Hispanic Branch is a great asset not only to the residents but also for the people in the surrounding neighborhood.”

March 21, 2011 at 9:42 pm 3 comments

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