Libraries Evolve to Better Serve Homeless Patrons

By Maryann Yin 

Nashville Public LibraryHow are libraries evolving to serve the public of the digital revolution? A number of these institutions are focusing on providing services for the homeless.

Here’s more from The Huffington Post: “In this digital age, many people who used to depend on libraries can find what they need online without leaving home. Menaced by budget cuts, many public libraries are effectively failing to justify their relevance, reducing their hours year after year. At the same time, libraries are more important than ever to people who can’t otherwise get connected: Nearly two-thirds provide the only free computer and Internet access in their communities, according to the American Library Association.”

The Nashville public library branches hosts drop-in hours where patrons can seek help from city social workers and mental health counselors. The Pima County libraries of Arizona receives regular visits from public health nurses; they perform blood pressure check-ups and counsel those who may require more medical attention. The Queens Public Library of New York City has developed a mobile phone application so people can access serves for emergency food, shelter, and legal assistance.