about us


< Back | Next >

Ten Things You Can Work on to Better Serve Low Income People in Your Library

  1. Treat all library users fairly, regardless of economic status.
  2. Read and implement the American Library Association’s Policy 61, Library Services for the Poor.
  3. Learn about and establish contacts with local community groups and support agencies that provide services to and advocate for low income people.
  4. Keep an updated list of temporary housing, educational and health facilities, family services, legal assistance and food pantries at all your reference desks.
  5. Subscribe to and read your local street papers. Go here to find the one for your area.
  6. Check out the Hunger, Homelessness, and Poverty Task Force’s blog and ALA’s Office for Literacy and Outreach Services’ web site for the latest in news, links, and ideas.
  7. Develop a sensitivity training to help staff understand and better assist low income users. (Toronto Public did it!)
  8. Take another look at your library card registration policy to see that it does not exclude people living in temporary housing.
  9. Bring library programs to a temporary housing facility. Storytimes, book discussions, and poetry readings are always popular outreach activities.
  10. Make an effort to research other libraries’ innovative programs and policies that serve the information and literacy needs of low income people. Also, don’t forget to publicize and share your own.

* * *

< Back | Next >