For immediate release | November 13, 2012

Librarian outreach to the homeless in Seattle, ALA Midwinter Meeting Day of Caring

CHICAGO — Who are the homeless in Seattle’s neighborhoods? Where do the homeless go after they visit the library? How do we best serve this fast-growing segment of our population (most visible in cities) in public libraries? Around 100 ALA Midwinter Meeting attendees will have a chance on Friday, Jan. 25 to overcome stereotypes and barriers to service through an informed, hands-on introduction to Seattle’s varied organizations serving the homeless. The day will start at 10:30 a.m. at the Washington State Convention Center with an orientation, followed by selection of activities for the day, ending back there at approximately 3 p.m.

Participants will join a tour of multiple homeless advocacy and support services, each one serving different demographics. Experts from Urban Rest Stop, Compass Housing Alliance, Operation Sack Lunch and Youthcare Orion Center will give a tour of their facilities and be on hand to answer questions, and participants will be invited to prepare and serve food, create hygiene kits or refresh the living quarters of “throwaway youth” at one of Youthcare’s North Seattle sites.

Participants are encouraged to choose a homeless advocacy agency that closely matches their service area or interest area. By interacting and collaborating with advocacy agencies, participants will have the opportunity to gain insights into best practice skills in serving the homeless. There is no fee for participating, but in-kind donations including back packs, coats (new/lightly-used), handwarmers, hats, gloves, pillowcases, socks, sleeping bags, books, magazines and paperbacks are welcome.

You can sign up when you register for ALA Midwinter, or log in to your registration to add this free optional event.

ALAMidwinter Meeting. The conversation starts here …

ALAMidwinter Meeting registration and housing are open. Important conversations about the transformation and future of libraries will be taking place in Seattle, Jan. 25-29.

Use the Midwinter Meeting Scheduler to plan your time, create your calendar, and find out about many other Midwinter Meeting highlights as they’re added—speakers, events, networking opportunities, and more.

For attendees who need support in making their case for attending and why they’ll be more valuable to their institutions afterwards, use these resources that include step-by-step guidelines for what information to present, what previous attendees have said about what they took home from ALA conferences and events, a sample budget worksheet, and more.

For more on the topic of libraries and homelessness, consult the recent free online toolkit from ALA Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS), “Extending Our Reach: Reducing Homelessness through Library Engagement.

Related Links

ALA Midwinter Meeting. The conversation starts here …

ALA Midwinter Meeting Scheduler

Making Your Case to Attend



Alicia Babcock

Conference /Events Coordinator

Conference Services (CONF)

1-800-545-2433 ext.3229