“The library becomes a sanctuary for many of the patrons and our program helps them to feel safe again.”
“Citing a desire to address the needs of homeless and at-risk people using the library, Library Executive Director David Seleb said the move is to create a safe and welcoming environment for all library patrons.”
Shannon Butler, the social work intern at the Carbondale Public Library, has helped to find homes for at least four individuals, said the library’s director, Diana Brawley Sussman.
”(She) has successfully placed a few people in houses simply by talking to landlords, finding a price point that works for the landlord and the person’s budget and getting … asking the landlord to waive some of the upfront fees,” Sussman said.
The Jeffersonville Township Public Library achieved one of the objectives outlined in “Vision 2025: A Strategic Plan to End Homelessness in Clark and Floyd Counties.”
The library’s Community Profiles database on its website, jefflibrary.org, now includes a list of social services in both counties that is readily accessible. It replaces a printed resource list the Center for Lay Ministries and possibly other organizations carried.
“I’m sure it was useful, but those things go out of date pretty quickly,” Libby Pollard, Library Director, said. “But with the Community Profiles database, we’re able to provide access to resources really to anybody that’s got an Internet connection. They don’t have to be a card holder.”
Project Uplift, an information resource fair coordinated by the Salt Lake Main Public Library, Salt Lake City Corp. and Volunteers of America-Utah, brought direct service providers, nonprofit agencies, government offices and private sector partners under one roof as a resource for homeless people and people at risk of being homeless, said Deborah Ehrman, Deputy Director. About 300 people attended the fair, which grew out of a meeting of library, Volunteers of America and Salt Lake City’s homeless services office employees.
The Denver Public Library has long been interested in providing services for its homeless patrons. In 2012, the DPL formed a Homeless Services Action Committee, an internal group that has worked to provide training and resources — including a social worker — for library staff to help them better address the needs of homeless people. The HSAC came up with the idea for the Sunrise Concerts. “We’re really building a name for ourselves in terms of services to people experiencing homelessness,” says Groene-Nieto, who is a member of the committee. “This is a symbol of our commitment.”
“We’re helping the communities by providing opportunities to the homeless through engagement.”
“The fight to make LGBT identities more widely accepted continues, and books are a great medium with which to do that. Which is why a new project to send LGBT-focused young adult books to libraries and shelters is such a great idea. Not only can it show kids everywhere that LGBT people are just people like everyone else, but it also give LGBT teens a chance to see themselves represented in literature, and that’s something everyone deserves.
The project, called Rainbow Boxes, is currently fundraising on Indiegogo, and was started by YA authors Cori McCarthy and Amy Rose Capetta. The project aims to donate a box of 15 books with LGBTQIA characters to one community library and one homeless shelter in every state in the country (40 percent of homeless teens identify as LGBT). That’s a total of 1,500 books!”