Serving the Underserved: tips for serving the homeless

Sometimes, community services in rural areas don’t have resources to meet growing needs. As such, libraries become the primary service provider for those experiencing homelessness in the community. In an already busy library, how can you assist with food, safety, hygiene, and social needs? Is it even your role to do so? What about mental health, opiate addiction, disruptive behaviors, and policies? In this session, learn practical tips to serve people experiencing homelessness, avoid burnout, encourage community conversations,and link patrons to available resources. Learn from one Library Director’s mistakes and successes, and discuss your libraries’ unique challenges together.

About Mallory Pillard

Mallory Pillard has been the Director of the Trinidad Carnegie Public Library for 6 years, and has worked in Public Libraries for 8. When she’s not at the library, you may find her playing ping pong with friends, camping all over Colorado with her boyfriend, or listening to podcasts. In 2020, Mallory looks forward to attending Emporia State University, and working toward her Master’s Degree in Library Science.