The Supportive Library

OVERVIEW:

Our second Library 2.024 mini-conference: "The Supportive Library: Helping Patrons Experiencing Homelessness," will be held online (and for free) on Thursday, June 20th, 2024, from 12:00 - 3:00 pm US-Pacific Time.

From a librarian’s perspective, when we think of patrons experiencing homelessness, we automatically know and understand that they are an especially vulnerable population. We also know that to work in libraries is to be on the forefront of homelessness. However, while we are working directly with vulnerable patrons, many of us may not know how to help someone who is unhoused or who is experiencing food or other insecurities. We may not understand why they don’t trust us, or why they are striking out angrily toward us. We may not know the mental challenges or trauma they are experiencing or the loneliness and isolation they are feeling. In turn, this can expose our own vulnerabilities.

What we do know is that there are many challenges for our vulnerable patrons. What can we do to help strengthen these patrons, knowing that this requires being emotionally vulnerable ourselves? How do we find the emotional strength and courage to be open and authentic? What can librarians provide? We can try to build strength with our homeless community members by recognizing and having compassion for their vulnerabilities as well as our own. From this we may foster empathy, and cultivate a greater sense of belonging within our libraries.

For this conference, we invite you to embrace vulnerability, share stories of helping vulnerable patrons, express how you have been vulnerable and needed support, and what it means to take risks and step outside of your comfort zone.

Our special conference chair is Kimberli Buckley, M.A, MLIS, Senior Community Library Manager at Contra Costa County Library, and a lecturer at San Jose State University's School of Information.

We look forward to gathering online with you for this event!

REGISTRATION:

This is a free event, being held live online and also recorded.
REGISTER HERE
to attend live and/or to receive the recording links afterward.
Please also join the Library 2.0 community to be kept updated on this and future events. 

Everyone is invited to participate in our Library 2.0 conference events, which are designed to foster collaboration and knowledge sharing among information professionals worldwide. Each three-hour event consists of a keynote panel, 10-15 crowd-sourced thirty-minute presentations, and a closing keynote. 

Participants are encouraged to use #library2024 and #supportivelibrary on their social media posts about the event.

CONFERENCE CHAIR:

Kimberli Buckley, M.A, MLIS
Senior Community Library Manager, Contra Costa County Library
Lecturer, San Jose State University, School of Information
Author, Teaching Life Skills at the Library, ALA Editions 2022
ALA eLearning Instructor
OPENING KEYNOTE PANEL & SPECIAL ORGANIZER

Kimberli Buckley (she/her) is a Senior Community Library Manager at the Contra Costa County Library, a public library system that honors their mission of bringing people and ideas together. In addition to her public library work, Kimberli also teaches with San Jose State University’s School of Information. She designs and delivers courses tailored for the MLIS iSchool graduate students, focusing on relevant topics such as effectively serving unhoused library patrons and promoting accessibility within library spaces. She has a deep dedication to addressing homelessness awareness and has garnered recognition for her extensive work in serving unhoused and unsheltered patrons in Contra Costa County. Kimberli is a published author, her book Teaching Life Skills at the Library was published by ALA Editions in July 2022 and she is also an instructor for the American Library Associations (ALA) eLearning platform. She has taught courses on outreach & marketing, adulting for teens, and the development of homeless engagement programs. Her Master’s in Library Science from San Jose State University is complemented by a Master's in Consciousness Studies from John F. Kennedy University. With over fifteen years of invaluable experience in the library field, Kimberli’s interdisciplinary background in library science, meshed with philosophy, psychology, and the transpersonal approach, uniquely equips her with an embodied wisdom along with human-centered insights.

 

KEYNOTE PANELISTS & SPEAKERS

Rachel Fewell
Director of the Central Library at Denver Public Library
OPENING KEYNOTE PANEL

Rachel Fewell is the Central Library Administrator for the Denver Public Library. She has worked in libraries since 2001 and at Denver Public Library since 2011. Rachel has a Masters in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin Madison. She has worked on renovating, re-designing and building libraries for several library systems in Colorado. She has been a library industry leader in word-based classification, linked data, and services to people experiencing life challenges. Rachel has served as a member of the Colorado Resource Sharing Conference Planning Committee, ALA’s Public Library Association Committee on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice and on the Membership Advisory Group. She currently serves on the Golden Triangle Creative District board in downtown Denver. Her passion for providing free, open civic space, and supporting intellectual freedom and access to information has motivated her career.

 

Lisa Harris
Library Manager, Social Justice Services, Alameda County Library
OPENING KEYNOTE PANEL

Lisa Harris currently manages Social Justice Services for the Alameda County Library, which includes library services to adult and juvenile persons detained in County correctional facilities, and at the REACH/Ashland Youth Center, located in a high-needs community in San Lorenzo, CA. Lisa has worked to provide library services and programs to people not traditionally represented in brick and mortar libraries in Alameda County for more than 34 years, including a program aimed at unhoused populations that she designed and administered, entitled HELP (Hope for Every Library Patrons.

 

Avery Barnwell (she/her)
Homeless Engagement Coordinator and Outreach Specialist for the Dallas Public Library
OPENING KEYNOTE PANEL

Avery Barnwell is the Coordinator and Outreach Specialist for Dallas Public Library's ongoing Homeless Engagement Initiative. She previously worked for the Latah County Library system and has been with the Dallas Public Library since 2022. Avery manages the Homeless Engagement Initiative, a unit dedicated to addressing the needs of unhoused and at-risk patrons while creating safe and engaging spaces for them. Avery works in tandem with other City of Dallas departments to provide information and referrals for social services, employment assistance, and programs that center our unhoused neighbors. She assists in de-escalation training with Dallas Public Library employees to help foster a trauma-informed approach to librarianship. Avery is dedicated to engaging library patrons experiencing homelessness and facilitating inclusive and accessible programming.

 

Karla Alvarez
Deputy Chief of Staff, San José Public Library
OPENING KEYNOTE PANEL

Karla Alvarez (pronouns: she/ella) is the Deputy Chief of Staff and Program Manager for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at San José Public Library (SJPL). In addition to supporting the Office of the City Librarian, she collaborates with colleagues to steer projects to better serve San José’s historically underrepresented and underserved communities. Karla oversees SJPL's Holistic Library Initiative to support people experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity, and she coordinates the Library's efforts as part of the citywide Homelessness Response Team working to implement the actions identified in the City's Community Plan to End Homelessness. Prior to joining the Library, she was a seasoned nonprofit executive, with more than fifteen years of experience leading domestic and international projects to strengthen youth leadership, gender equity, immigrant justice and human rights. Her work has spanned projects in San Diego, New York, Mexico, Guatemala and other countries. Committed to giving back to her community, she serves as board director for the Latino Leadership Alliance and Grail Family Services. Alvarez received her Master's degree in International Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame and Bachelor's degree in International Relations from the University of San Diego. She was named a 2023 Library Journal Mover & Shaker Innovator for her equity work. 

Mychal Threets
Literacy Ambassador
CLOSING KEYNOTE

Mychal Threets is a librarian. He grew up in Fairfield, CA - right between Sacramento and San Francisco. He grew up in libraries as a homeschool kid. Mychal loves stories! He enjoys learning something new every day, and that includes learning why people love their local library. He utilizes social media to share the stories of library kids and library grown-ups that he encounters in library land. He got his first library card at the age of 5 and was hooked on libraries from there. He got his first library job as a library shelver at the library he grew up in and worked his way up to become Supervising Librarian of that very same library.

CALL FOR PROPOSALS:

Proposals for 30-minute concurrent presentations are now being accepted. Proposals will be evaluated and accepted in the order received. The link to submit proposals is HERE.

We request that session proposals will be practitioner-based and hope that they might include:

  • mental health resources;
  • healthcare for the homeless;
  • social workers in the library;
  • addressing poverty, food insecurity, trauma, menstrual health, and other vulnerabilities;
  • unhoused pet care;
  • art therapy;
  • resources for unhoused teens;
  • care and hygiene kits;
  • mobile showers;
  • the emotional toll of working with vulnerable patrons;
  • and library leadership support.

REGISTRATION:

This is a free event, being held live online and also recorded.
REGISTER HERE
to attend live and/or to receive the recording links afterward.
Please also join the Library 2.0 community to be kept updated on this and future events. 

Everyone is invited to participate in our Library 2.0 conference events, which are designed to foster collaboration and knowledge sharing among information professionals worldwide. Each three-hour event consists of a keynote panel, 10-15 crowd-sourced thirty-minute presentations, and a closing keynote. 

Participants are encouraged to use #library2024 and #supportivelibrary on their social media posts about the event.

SUPPORT:

The School of Information at San José State University is the founding conference sponsor. Please register as a member of the Library 2.0 network to be kept informed of future events. Recordings from previous years are available under the Archives tab at Library 2.0 and at the Library 2.0 YouTube channel.