'Succeeding' At Homelessness - Public Libraries Reach Out To Clients In Crisis

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In these tough times, libraries are full of families and people who have lost jobs and turn to the library for support in their time of need. Besides the traditional information services, libraries are supplying digital services; in particular, through public computing services, they are replacing lost internet connectivity and web access for people who need them to survive and recover. This month's Searcher magazine has articles covering this important issue. These articles are available for free on the Searcher website (http://www.infotoday.com/searcher).

In these tough times, libraries are full of families and people who have lost jobs and turn to the library for support in their time of need. Besides the traditional information services, libraries are supplying digital services; in particular, through public computing services, they are replacing lost internet connectivity and web access for people who need them to survive and recover. A group of women experiencing homelessness have provided tips on surviving and getting out of homelessness in the October issue of Searcher Magazine (http://www.infotoday.com/searcher/oct09/Birdsong.shtml). The article is the second in a series by Lark Birdsong, director of the Information Literacy Initiative at the University of Washington's Information School. The first article -- Information Literacy Training for All: The Outliers (http://www.infotoday.com/searcher/sep09/Birdsong.shtml) -- appeared in the September issue and is also available free on the infotoday.com website.

The tips come from women who participated in a special information literacy project run at a day shelter in Colorado called The Gathering Place. These women have battled homelessness, survived, and wanted to help others new to homelessness. They applied the information literacy techniques taught by their instructor to research the question of "How to stay healthy as an individual who is temporarily without a home: What are the top survival tips?". The tips and the process used to build them can help those in transition and needing some support. Librarians working to help clients in crisis should find these tips highly useful. The author, Lark Birdsong, her trainees, and Information Today Inc. hope public libraries and shelters will make these tips available to homeless clients and patrons needing help.

One of the top tips urges getting a library card to open the door to a wide array of resources, including a place to find job openings and prepare resumes. Libraries are one of the great equalizers in life, so get your card.

For further information, please contact David G. White, 800-300-9868.

About Information Today, Inc.

Information Today, Inc. (ITI) is a leading publisher and conference organizer in the field of library technology and services. Information Today publications include Computers in Libraries magazine, Searcher magazine, Information Today magazine, Database Trends and Applications magazine, ONLINE magazine, and EContent magazine. ITI's annual conferences include Computers in Libraries, Internet Librarian, and Internet Librarian International.

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