IFLA Guidelines for Library Services to People Experiencing Homelessness
by Library Services to People with Special Needs Section
The IFLA Section for Library Services to People with Special Needs (LSN) focuses on those persons who, because of their living conditions and/or physical, mental, or cognitive disabilities, are unable to access current library services. Much in the same way, people experiencing homelessness face a series of barriers preventing them from obtaining equal access to library services due to their living conditions, poor mental and physical health, and prejudice. The IFLA Guidelines for Library Services to People Experiencing Homelessness has evolved from the work LSN has done to address these barriers. It should be noted that library services to refugees are included in these Guidelines. They face many of the same challenges as people experiencing homelessness.
Homelessness is a community challenge. An important prerequisite for efficient and sustainable services related to homelessness is building a network of multiple stakeholders to work with people experiencing homelessness. All types of libraries (school, public, academic, and special) can contribute to this network and should partner with community organizations, professionals, volunteers, and government agencies. The audience for these guidelines are librarians, library staff, and all who serve people experiencing homelessness.
Last update: 11 January 2021