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How are the Kids?


“The biggest challenge in an era of increasing inequality in income and wealth is the widening gulf between children growing up in strong, economically secure families within thriving communities and children who are not. Although African-American and Latino children continue to fall disproportionately into the latter group, a greater share of children of all racial and ethnic groups are facing conditions that can impede their long-term success.” Kids Count Data Book 2014

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A Home to the Homeless: Community Approach to Homelessness


“The American Library Association (ALA) maintains in its “Library Services to the Poor” policy statement that it’s crucial for public libraries to recognize their role in enabling poor people to participate fully in a democratic society. The library has to serve as a uniquely egalitarian place. Moreover, library staffers have a duty to look out for the needs of poor and homeless patrons and strive to provide relevant services.”

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Homeless Outreach: Books from Street Librarians


“It’s the beautiful messiness of human interaction,” said Alison Kastner, a reader services librarian at the Multnomah library, describing the core idea of My Librarian, and the distinction between it and the coolly logical computer algorithms that comb a shopper’s tastes at sites like Amazon.

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UN Committee Calls for U.S. to Take Action on Laws Criminalizing Homelessness


The United Nations (UN) Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination calls upon the United States to take corrective action to address laws that effectively criminalize homelessness, which in the U.S. disproportionately affects racial and ethnic minorities. The statement is part of the committee’s concluding recommendations following a review of U.S. government compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Among the laws cited as discriminatory were laws that prohibit activities such as loitering, camping, begging, and lying in public spaces.

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D.C. Adds a Social Worker to Library System to Work with Homeless Patrons


“The city drops folks from three shelters off here every morning and picks them up in the evening. So they come here because of that,” said Badalamenti, a social worker who in May became the D.C. Public Library’s first health and human services coordinator.

“But they would come here anyway,” she continued. “The library’s a great place to spend the day for anybody. You get access to computers, you can look for jobs, you can connect with your family and friends on Facebook and e-mail, use [photo software] and do lots of creative things.”

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