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Books on wheels – When the library comes to the homeless shelter

Christian Science Monitor – “The bookmobile has a history of bringing the written word to people who can’t get to a library building. Queens has taken that ethos further, parking its mobile library at homeless shelters in the borough…Over the past decade, scholars and social workers have noted how public libraries around the country are particularly well-positioned to provide those without stable housing with the kinds of resources many take for granted, including computers and internet access, a dedicated place to think and work, and opportunities to learn. “Libraries are always reinventing themselves, and what I love most about my job is connecting families to the library and to literacy,” says Kim McNeil-Capers, director of community engagement for the Queens Public Library system. “This is a way for us to bring the library right into the community – we can embed ourselves right here, right in the middle of a community, and talk to people directly.”

There were over half a million people without a stable home last year, according to federal estimates, and library systems in many U.S. cities have become more and more focused on serving their homeless patrons, sometimes partnering with social service organizations or even adding social workers to their staffs…”

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