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Serving Homeless Individuals and Families in Libraries: Bibliography

Resources to support library staff's work with homeless patrons, including referral and resources to facilitate interpersonal interactions.

A Note about the bilibiography

A note about this bibliography:
Serving the homeless in public libraries is not new and we can learn from the experiences of other librarians.The bibliography includes articles that puts the intersection between the homeless and libraries in a larger context than what is experienced firsthand in Rhode Island.  The articles are all available through

Selected articles on libraries and homelessness

Anderson, Keith A., Chaniqua D. Simpson, and Lynette G. Fisher. "The Ability of Public Library Staff to Help Homeless People in the United States: Exploring Relationships, Roles and Potential." Journal of Poverty and Social Justice 20, no. 2 (2012): 177-90. doi:10.1332/175982712x652078.

Ayers, Sheila. "The Poor and Homeless: An Opportunity for Libraries to Serve." The Southeastern Librarian 54, no. 1 (2006).

Comito, Lauren. "DPL, SFPL Offer Innovative Homeless Services." Library Journal, October 15, 2015, 13-16.

Dowd, Ryan. "The Librarian's Guide to Homelessness: Advice for Managers and Leaders from the Director of a Shelter." American Libraries, June 2018.

"Emilio Estevez: Actor and Filmmaker Tackles the Library Response to Homelessness." American Libraries, March/April 2018, 20-21.

Hill, Rebecca. "Almost Home." School Library Journal 62, no. 2.

Kelleher, Angie. "Not Just a Place to Sleep: Homeless Perspectives on Libraries in Central Michigan." Library Review 62, no. 1/2 (2013).

Leeder, Kim. "Welcoming the Homeless into Libraries." In the Library with the Lead Pipe (blog), 2010.

Lilienthal, Stephen M. "The Problem Is Not the Homeless." Library Journal 136, no. 11.

Peet, Lisa. "Berkeley PL Launches Cards for Patrons Without Fixed Address" Library Journal 2019.

Ruhlmann, Ellyn. "A Home to the Homeless." American Libraries, 2014.

Segal, Elizabeth. "A Haven for the Homeless: The City of Santa Monica – and Its Librarians – Are on the Front Lines of the Homelessness Crisis in Southern California." May 9, 2018.