ALA Unit/Subunit: ALA
Meeting Type: Program
Cost: Included with full conference registration.
How does working with people experiencing homelessness to identify their needs, instead of offering the programming library staff believe is needed and/or wanted, change library programming? Will structured, but informal conversations help staff engage with patrons, regardless of housing status?
Through months of conversation sessions with patrons and staff, we have learned that even informal dialogue opens the door to engagement with patrons and allows us to learn from our community.
Using a variety of methods, we worked to intentionally invite patrons experiencing homelessness to engage with staff. This engagement has produced a feeling of community inside the Central library, helped library staff feel more comfortable talking to patrons and helped staff and patrons learn about each other. We have also been able to use what we learn from conversations with our patrons to provide programming relevant to those members of our community who are experiencing homelessness.
During this session, we will share our story and ask for audience participation. We want to hear what is working in your library, and what you've tried that hasn't worked as well as you hoped.