Tuesday, April 12, 2016
LIBRARIES SERVE HUNGRY PEOPLE
A growing number of library systems are adding services for patrons who are homeless, hungry, or suffering from drug addiction or mental illness. Increasingly, public libraries also are providing social services, such as serving children free lunches during the summer, said Sari Feldman, president of the American Library Association. Public libraries have expanded services in a number of ways. San Francisco was the first to hire a social worker, in 2009. Washington and Denver have followed suit. The Dallas Public Library has used grant money to station two AmeriCorps volunteers at a help desk where they might help proofread resumes or help with food stamp applications — and to hire someone who refers patrons to social services. Since 2012, three outreach workers at the Salt Lake City Public Library do everything from giving directions to nearby food banks to escorting victims of domestic violence to battered women’s shelters and helping patrons get state ID cards.
Source: Stateline, 4/4/16, Libraries