What’s a Library Got to Do, Got to Do With It?

Feb 2014
  • reading-a-bookBe a visible advocate within the community for LGBT youth experiencing homelessness.

  • Train library staff on creating inclusive and affirming spaces for LGBT youth, and to understand the unique needs and experiences of LGBT youth experiencing homelessness.

  • Create a system for granting library cards to LGBT young people who may not have a permanent address.

  • Engage in community education efforts to raise awareness about the issue of LGBT youth homelessness and the impact of identity based rejection.

  • Develop linkages with local service providers and advocates working on the issue of LGBT youth homelessness.

  • Provide free meeting space to local providers and advocates

  • Use meeting space to hold meditation/relaxation groups for LGBT youth experiencing homelessness so they have a safe place to rest.

  • Visit your local shelter to help youth clear library fines.

Dr. Winkelstein is actively building bridges between libraries, homeless LGBT youth, and service providers in communities around the country.  Her program, Library Anchor Models for Bridging Diversity Achievements (LAMBDA) works with the San Diego County Libraries and San Francisco Public Library in California, along with the Clinch River Public Library and Ocoee Public Library in Tennessee to provide education, training, workshops, and support materials that will align with IMLS’s goal to provide continuing education and “improve the knowledge, skills, and abilities” of library staff who are interested in creating programs that develop and improve services to homeless LGBT youth.