From Transactional to Transformational Responses and Roles: Current and Potential Library Responses to Social Crises

Your Name and Title:  Paula Miller, Director

Library, School, or Organization Name: Baltimore County Public Library

Co-Presenter Name(s):

Area of the World from Which You Will Present: Baltimore County, Maryland (US)

Language in Which You Will Present: English

Target Audience(s): Library staff and administration; Library trustees

Short Session Description (one line):

While library responses to social crises have been typically transactional (one person at a time), our libraries also have an opportunity for collective and transformational impact on a community-wide scale.

Full Session Description (as long as you would like):

From poverty to poor public transportation, from fires to floods, from gun violence to verbal warfare, from physical to mental health issues, libraries and library staff come face to face with the social crisis needs of their communities every day.

Providing assistance to individuals at the point of need in our libraries can be daunting. Libraries nationwide, including Baltimore County Public Library, are initiating programmatic responses, however, such as Lawyer in the Library, social workers in libraries, Narcan training for the public and staff, and providing summer meals for kids. Policy responses such as eliminating fines, lessening restrictions to obtaining library cards, and creating equitable access to technology also address social issues by improving access to marginalized populations.

Effecting larger-scale community change can seem even more elusive. How can libraries create community impact to mitigate social issues? Additional library roles and responses will be presented for consideration.

Websites / URLs Associated with Your Session:

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