New OLOS toolkit provides powerful new tools for library service to poor and homeless populations

For Immediate Release
Mon, 10/15/2012

Contact:

John Amundsen
Communications Specialist
Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS)
1-800-545-2433 ext. 2140
jamundsen@ala.org

CHICAGO — “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” and “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 www.ala.org/olos.

Special thanks to Sandy Berman, Carolyn Caywood, John Gehner, Lisa Gieskes, Leslie and Glen Holt, Anne Moore, Michael Santangelo, David Vess and Julie Winkelstein for their contributions to this toolkit.

The ALA Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) is a unit within the American Library Association. It works to make ALA more democratic and to establish progressive priorities not only for the Association, but also for the entire profession. Concern for human and economic rights was an important element in the founding of SRRT and remains an urgent concern today. SRRT believes that libraries and librarians must recognize and help solve social problems and inequities in order to carry out their mandate to work for the common good and bolster democracy. SRRT’s main website is hosted at http://libr.org/SRRT.

The mission of OLOS is to identify and promote library services that support equitable access to the knowledge and information stored in libraries. OLOS focuses attention on services that are inclusive of traditionally underserved populations and people generally discriminated against based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, language and social class. The Office ensures that training, information resources and technical assistance are available to help libraries and librarians develop effective strategies to grow programs and services for library users.