Community Collaborations: Homelessness in Libraries Workshop

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Event Details:

Tuesday, May 08, 2018
08:30 AM - 04:00 PM
Mott Library at Mott Community College
1401 E Court St.
Flint, MI 48503

(810) 762-0403

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What is the library’s role in serving the homeless population?

Libraries are designed to be welcoming spaces for all. As a result, they are often coping with large number of patrons who are homeless or have mental illnesses. How can your library best serve this increasing segment of your community?

Mott Library at Mott Community College
1401 E Court St.
Flint, MI  48503
(810) 762-0403


8:30 – 9:00 a.m.
Registration & Continental Breakfast

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Revisiting Policy 61: Assessing the Needs of and Interacting with Persons Who Are Homeless

In 1990, the American Library Association adopted Policy 61, which made several recommendations to public libraries regarding interacting with “poor” people, including removing barriers to accessing services, improving services, and training staff about the needs of poor people. Since that time, the conversation has moved from the needs of the “poor” to the needs of people who identify as “homeless” and challenges related to those needs have increased in most urban and suburban areas. Public libraries have been challenged, in return, to retain its mission of serving all, yet in a safe and equitable manner.  

Based on qualitative research the presenter has conducted on this topic, this interactive presentation will (1) dispel myths and stereotypes about the “homeless,” (2) consider strategies that library administration and staff can put in place to come closer to meeting Policy 61’s recommendations; and (3) engage in meaningful conversation about how to empathically and effectively interact with what some have labeled “difficult patrons.”
Dr. Mark Giesler, Saginaw Valley State University

Mark A. Giesler, PhD, LMSW, is a Professor of Social Work at Saginaw Valley State University. His research agenda includes qualitative studies of marginalized groups, including LGBT individuals and homeless populations. He recently published an article in the Journal of Access Services regarding public librarians’ perceptions of the homeless. He has served as Vice-President of Standards and Services for the National Association of Social Workers-MI Chapter, and has been on two national boards—Council on Social Work Education’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Committee and the American Men’s Studies Association. He currently is an Assistant Editor for the Journal of Ethnographic and Qualitative Research. 

12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

1:00 - 2:30 p.m.
Panel Discussion

The panel will give first-hand experiences dealing with homelessness in libraries. Have your questions answered and take this opportunity to delve into some of the more complex issues which arise when dealing with this population.
Daniel Kelly, Shelter Association of Washtenaw County; Ann Matteson, Detroit Public Library; Maria McCarville, Public Libraries of Saginaw   

2:45 - 4:00 p.m. 
Diversity Training
Paulette Granberry Russell, Senior Adviser to the President for Diversity and Director of the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives, Michigan State University.


Training Rates                           Member              Non-Member             

Early Bird      4/30/18                $95                        $190

Regular            5/6/18               $110                      $220

Onsite*                                      $135                      $270

 *subject to space limitations

Lunch Continental Breakfast and included with registration.

Cancellation Policy:  Cancellations must be received in writing by email no later than five (5) business days prior to the program in order to qualify for a refund. A $25.00 processing fee will be applied to refunds for workshops. Within five (5) business days of the event, no refund will be issued. No-shows will be invoiced.

Questions can be directed to or 517-394-2774 x227.