Extending Our Reach: Reducing Homelessness Through Library Engagement

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Equity of Access

  • Library services for people experiencing homelessness may be limited or denied in many circumstances, including:
  • Library card or access policies requiring a permanent address
  • Prohibitive fines, fees or other penalties or the perception that services incur fees
  • Staff who are not trained in service to people who are poor or homeless or who are made uncomfortable by prejudices against people who are poor or homeless
  • Limited promotion at the community centers and organizations (food banks, shelters, after-school programs) that serve people experiencing homelessness  
  • Limited access to the library building by either lack of transportation or service hours
  • Lack of programs or resources that address people’s experiences or current situations

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