Hunger, Homelessness, and Poverty Task Force (HHPTF)


Fosters greater awareness of the dimensions, causes, and ways to end hunger, homelessness, and poverty.




In 1990, the American Library Association adopted Policy 61, Library Services for the Poor. This "Poor People's Policy" was developed to ensure that libraries are accessible and useful to low-income citizens and to encourage a deeper understanding of poverty's dimensions, its causes, and the ways it can be ended.

In 1996, members of SRRT formed the Hunger, Homelessness, and Poverty Task Force to promote and implement Policy 61 and to raise awareness of poverty issues.

Since the, the task force has

  • mounted major conference programs
  • secured policy support from ALA Presidential candidates
  • initiated a SRRT resolution on poverty-related subject headings
  • distributed resource information
  • encouraged the ALA Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS) Advisory Committee to create a Poverty Subcommittee
  • published a first ever statement on class and libraries in American Libraries
  • inspired the publication of Poor People and Library Services (McFarland, 1998), edited by former task force chair Karen Venturella
  • and coordinated poverty-focused surveys of ALA units and members in 2007

To date, the potential of Policy 61 is only partially realized, and much work remains to be done. Won't you join us?

Get Involved

Contact Co-Coordinators Lisa Gieskes and Julie Ann Winkelstein for more information.