Upcoming PLA webinar series explores how libraries can better understand and serve those experiencing homelessness

For Immediate Release
Tue, 05/26/2015


Kara O'Keefe

Manager, Membership Marketing



CHICAGO – In January of 2014, there were 578,424 people experiencing homelessness on any given night in the United States. As homelessness increases, so does the significant intersection between homelessness and library service. Join the Public Library Association (PLA) for a two-part webinar series, “Understanding and Serving People Experiencing Homelessness: A Trauma-Informed Approach to Library Service” beginning June 3. This series will address the prevalence, causes and impact of homelessness and related trauma on children and adults, while exploring ways to address homelessness in public libraries.

Both webinars will occur at 1 p.m. Central on the following days:

  1. June 3: Covers prevalence and causes of homelessness and also the impact of these traumatic experiences on adults and children, with a link to the intersection between homelessness and public libraries.
  2. June 10: Continues with ways to respond to homelessness in a public library setting—including some of the models that currently exist, as well as the concept of "trauma-informed" library services and what the core principles of this approach look like.

Presenter Kathleen Guarino, LMHC, director of training at The National Center on Family Homelessness at American Institutes for Research, will teach participants how to identify common causes of homelessness, describe the impact of exposure to trauma on children and adults, and recognize core principles of a trauma-informed approach to library service.

The cost to attend “Understanding and Serving People Experiencing Homelessness: A Trauma-Informed Approach to Library Service" is $45 (PLA Members), $52 (ALA Members) and $59 (Nonmembers). Groups of any size can register for $179. The registration deadline is 11:59 p.m. Central on Monday, June 1.

The Public Library Association (PLA) is a division of the American Library Association. PLA’s core purpose is to strengthen public libraries and their contribution to the communities they serve. Its mission is to enhance the development and effectiveness of public library staff and public library services.

For more information about PLA, contact the PLA office at 1 (800) 545-2433, ext.5PLA, or pla@ala.org.