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Understanding and Serving People Experiencing Homelessness: A Trauma-Informed Approach to Library Service

Understanding and Serving People Experiencing Homelessness: A Trauma-Informed Approach to Library Service

“A Two-Part Webinar Series

In January of 2014, there were 578,424 people experiencing homelessness on any given night in the United States. Homelessness among children and families has risen to an historic high. Adults, youth, and families experiencing homelessness face a wide range of challenges including lack of affordable housing, employment opportunities, healthcare, social connections, and other needed services, as well as high rates of exposure to traumatic stressors that impact health and well-being. As homelessness increases, so does the significant intersection between homelessness and library service. This two-part series addresses the prevalence, causes, and impact of homelessness and related trauma on children and adults, while exploring ways to address homelessness in public libraries.

Part I

Part I 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.

Originally presented June 3, 2015.

Part II

Part II 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.

Originally presented June 10, 2015.

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This webinar series (and its archived recordings) is intended for the sole use of the webinar registrant, whether an individual or a group. Neither individual nor group registration includes permission to rebroadcast or redistribute this webinar series to another individual or to another group not covered in the initial registration. Thank you for your cooperation.

Resources and Links

Kathleen Guarino:

Kathleen Guarino’s Slideshow, Part I (PDF, 26 pgs.)

Kathleen Guarino’s Slideshow, Part II (PDF, 13 pgs.)

Model Programs (from ALA’s Extending Our Reach: Reducing Homelessness Through Library Engagement Toolkit):

Baltimore County (Md.) Public Library Street Card

Denver (Colo.) Public Library Community Technology Center

Pima County (Ariz.) Public Library Homeless Service Agencies

Queens (N.Y.) Library

San Francisco (Calif.) Public Library

San Jose (Calif.) Public Library Homelessness Panel Discussion

Traverse Area (Mich.) District Library

Meaghan O’Connor:

Meaghan O’Connor’s Slideshow (PDF, 37 pgs.)

“After Being Homeless, Former Government Worker Struggles to Maintain Identity” (WAMU 88.5)

“D.C. adds a social worker to library system to work with homeless patrons” (Washington Post)

Extending Our Reach: Reducing Homelessness Through Library Engagement Toolkit (American Library Association)

Marnie Webb:

Marnie Webb’s Slideshow (PDF, 4 pgs.)

Range (Caravan Studios)

Help Spread the Word (Caravan Studios)!range-share/c1yv5

TechSoup for Libraries


Posted on: August 31, 2015, 6:49 am Category: Uncategorized



“Since Heather Jagman and I co-edited our book Not Just Where to Click: Teaching Students How to Thing About Information, I have enjoyed several email exchanges with librarians around the country focusing on topics of the book. The larger theme of these conversations center on the larger concepts around information literacy beyond the mechanics of searching. It seems that our profession
has long recognized that information literacy is more than using a library, and it is more than just searching Google. But, we are just now entering a time of broader discussion about the dispositions, modes of thinking, and levels of understanding that underlie information literacy.

During my conversations, several other books kept coming up as suggestions for further reading. I thought it might be fun to list out a few of these. I am sure that there are many titles out there, so feel free to add to this list in the comments below. I find these useful as starting points for many librarians (especially newer librarians) who may not have explored ideas of authority, credibility, epistemology, constructivism, and many related topics.  Most these are are written for popular audiences so they move faster and are enjoyable. (I have several as audio books.) There are scholarly treatises out there, but these books do the job.


True Enough: Learning to LIve in a Post-Fact Society by Farhad Manjoo

Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain by David Eagleman

The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracy — How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths by Michael Shermer

Second-Hand Knowledge: An Inquiry into Cognitive Authority by Patrick Wilson

Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now that the Facts Aren’t the Facts, Experts are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room is the Room by David Weinberger

The Demon Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan

The Emotional Life of Your Brain by Richard J. Davidson

The Information: A History, A Theory, a Flood by James Gleick


Troy A. Swanson is Department Chair and Teaching & Learning Librarian at Moraine Valley Community College. He is the co-editor of the recent book from ACRL, Not Just Where to Click: Teaching Students How to Think About Information. You can follow him on Twitter at@t_swanson.”


Posted on: August 31, 2015, 6:00 am Category: Uncategorized



“MYTH #1: Teens talk about everything online and have little regard for personal privacy.

MYTH #2: Facebook and other social media just distract teens from schoolwork.

MYTH #3: Teens’ use of social media is frivolous.

MYTH #4: It’s dangerous for teens to interact with adults online.

MYTH #5: Internet in schools and libraries is just for finding information.

You can find the infographic at:”



Posted on: August 30, 2015, 6:52 am Category: Uncategorized

Social Media for Teachers: Guides, Resources, and Ideas

Social Media for Teachers: Guides, Resources, and Ideas

“Although students are evermore connected to the social web, many of these networks remain out-of-class digital playgrounds where students congregate. In a 2014 survey of 1,000 teachers, just one in five said they use social media regularly with students.

Of course, it can be a challenge to incorporate social media into lessons. There are many gray areas for teachers to navigate, like setting guidelines, accessibility at school, and student safety. But to help teachers navigate this ever-changing landscape of social media tools, here are some of the best guides on the web for four popular networks, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.

In addition to those great guides, there is a lot of useful information right here on Edutopia. You can explore all things related to the subject on Edutopia’s social media page; here are a few of the more popular, recent posts:



Posted on: August 30, 2015, 6:16 am Category: Uncategorized

The Most Popular Browser in Each Country, 2008-2015

The Most Popular Browser in Each Country, 2008-2015

This animated map comes from Dadaviz user jodysieradzki. You can watch as the world slowing turns from blue to yellow as more countries adopt Chrome instead of Internet Explorer. ”


Posted on: August 29, 2015, 12:36 pm Category: Uncategorized

Reference: Statistics: 2015 Edition of “America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being” Now Online

“From the News Release/Summary:

The number of American infants born before the 37th week of pregnancy dropped slightly in 2013, as did the percentage of children with asthma under the age of 17. The percentage of teens who experienced a major depressive episode increased.

These and other findings are described in America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2015. The report was compiled by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, which includes participants from 23 federal agencies. The forum fosters coordination, collaboration, and integration of federal efforts to collect and report data on children and families.

According to the report, youth who have had a major depressive episode in the past year are at greater risk for suicide. They are more likely than other youth to initiate alcohol and other drug use, experience concurrent substance use disorders, and smoke daily. A major depressive episode is defined as a period of at least two weeks when a person experienced a depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities, plus four other symptoms of depression, such as problems with sleep, eating, energy, concentration, and feelings of self-worth. The report noted that the percentage of youth ages 12-17 who experienced a major depressive episode increased from 9 percent in 2004 to 11 percent in 2013. Those who received treatment for such an episode declined from 40 percent in 2004 to 38 percent in 2013.


Poverty rates among children declined, according to the report. The percentage of children living in poverty dropped to 20 percent in 2013 from 22 percent in 2012. The percentage of children with at least one working parent increased during the same time period. Similarly, the percentage of children in households experiencing housing problems also has declined.

This year’s report is the 17th in an ongoing series and presents key indicators of children’s wellbeing in seven domains: family and social environment, economic circumstances, health care, physical environment and safety, behavior, education, and health.

Regarding behavioral indicators, 10th and 12th graders were less likely to smoke, and eighth and 12th graders were less likely to have reported binge drinking (five or more alcoholic drinks in a row) in the two weeks prior to the survey.

Within the overall population of children, the percentage of children declined to 23.1 percent in 2014, from 23.3 percent in 2013 Among the child population, the percentage of White, non-Hispanic children declined slightly, and there were slight increases in the percentage of children classified as Hispanic, Asian, non-Hispanic, and of two or more races, non-Hispanic.

Read the Complete Summary

Direct to Full Text (HTML, Including Extended Data Tables)

Direct to Full Text (PDF, Also Embedded Below)

Direct to Previous Reports

Direct to

America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being (2015 Edition)



Posted on: August 29, 2015, 6:55 am Category: Uncategorized


SEPT. 13-19, 2015

OUTSIDE THE LINES is a weeklong celebration to reconnect you with the creativity, technology, discovery and all of the fun and unexpected experiences happening in libraries today – think: 3D printers, ebooks, woodworking classes, personal job search help, laptop checkouts, biz incubators, seed libraries, recording studios…the list goes on.

For Supporters

For Libraries

Worth Getting on board!


Posted on: August 28, 2015, 11:42 am Category: Uncategorized