“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.”
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“I’m sure it was useful, but those things go out of date pretty quickly,” Libby Pollard, Library Director, said.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.”
“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!”
“Public libraries provide the homeless with a way to connect, and many homeless say that browsing the stacks and reading a book there eases a weary street-level perspective of life.”
“This project is part of a team effort by the city’s Education Department and its Department of Homeless Services, and will affect 20 shelters throughout the city. Each shelter will have its own library made up of donated books and other reading materials such as magazines.”
The BiblioTec program started as a partnership with Coffee Oasis to bring science and technology classes to homeless and at-risk youth in 2013 and 2014.
“They [homeless people] just need a chance to come in and do something for a couple of hours that isn’t survival-based,” said Rebecca Forth, founder of a new program she calls “Seen and Heard.”