Serving Vulnerable Populations in Public Library
Non members in Florida please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to register
At the public library, patrons experiencing or at-risk of homelessness can get help to find a place to live, look for employment, learn a skill or access community services. Public libraries continue to develop new and innovative ways to support their communities and meet the changing needs of the customers they serve.
Through the development of targeted programming, strategic partnerships, and outreach to vulnerable populations, public libraries are important partners within their communities, and are well-positioned to support government and community organizations in meeting their needs. In addition, the inclusion of social workers as staff in libraries provides new opportunities to serve customers at their point of need.
This session will explore how public libraries can become strong advocates in their communities, supporting partners and providing direct service to customers who need support, and explore the importance of developing anti-oppressive and trauma-informed practices to serve vulnerable customers.
You will learn:
1) Key concepts such as vulnerability, intersectionality, and trauma-informed practices;
2) How to begin to develop inclusive practices to better serve patrons;
3) How to identify the needs of your community and develop new programs and services; and
4) Advocate to be a strong partner within local community networks and spaces, and develop strategic partnerships to better serve your communities.
Aly Velji is the Manager, Adult Literacy Services at Toronto Public Library (TPL). Aly has an MI from U of T and is currently the chair of the Services to Vulnerable Persons committee, and oversees program and service development related to vulnerable populations at TPL. He is passionate about finding ways to reduce barriers and increase access to library services for all.
A Social Justice advocate, Rahma combines therapeutic and systemic lens in social work practice. She has an MSW from the University of Toronto and is a Certified Change Agent (CCA). Rahma supports the service delivery of library services to vulnerable populations and is aiming to foster impactful and productive partnerships with the community. Prior to TPL, she designed and delivered programs to vulnerable populations in the non-profit sector, where she addressed issues of violence and bullying, diversity, social inclusion, as well as access and equity. In addition, she supported the implementation of a human-centered design project in the public sector.