PLA Resources for Serving Homeless Patrons

Libraries are open and welcoming to all, including the most vulnerable in our society, leaving library staff sometimes doubling as social workers. The Public Library Association is actively working in this arena to provide resources to help libraries best serve homeless and other marginalized patrons.

In a series of interactive virtual forums, a rotating panel consisting of members of the PLA Social Worker Task Force will answer questions related to social work in public libraries. This is an opportunity to learn from the experts and engage with your peers on social service issues facing public libraries today. Attendees are encouraged to share their experiences and ask questions throughout the session.The next forum is scheduled for Tuesday, September 10, from 1-1:30 p.m. MDT. The event is free but you must register to get the call information. Register here.

There is a PLA Social Work Interest Group on ALA Connect. This is a space to help answer your questions, have important conversations, and provide resources that can help your library provide the best service to patrons. You do not need to be a PLA or American Library Association member to join the interest group. However, you will need a free ALA Connect login.

PLA also maintains a list of resources for serving persons experiencing homelessness.

Finally, the PLA Social Work Task Force is hosting a webinar on Tuesday, September 24. Participants will be charged a fee for this webinar, and registration is not yet open. Visit for registration updates and more information.

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