This thesis describes ethnographic and exploratory research conducted to learn more about ways in which public librarians work with vulnerable patrons, particularly homeless patrons, for the purpose of connecting library patrons with resources and services in the community. The literature on the intersection between librarians and social services is presented and discussed. The methodologies employed included semi-structured interviews with librarians and social workers, field observations, reflective research journaling, and autoethnographic (self-study) methods. The data analysis explores my interest in gaining an understanding of the information needs of patrons experiencing homelessness and the information needs of librarians to best serve such a vulnerable population. A significant outcome of this work is a pilot program involving one student intern from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Social Work Department conducting their internship with the Hawaiʻi State Public Library System (HSPLS). The efficacy of this internship program is a question for further research. Limitations of this study are discussed, and suggestions for future research are presented.
|Commitee:||Buente, Wayne, Gazan, Rich, Quiroga, Luz M.|
|School:||University of Hawai'i at Manoa|
|Department:||Library and Information Science|
|School Location:||United States -- Hawaii|
|Source:||MAI 81/1(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Library science, Social work|
|Keywords:||Compassion, Homelessness needs, Public librarians, Reflective research, Social work and libraries|
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