Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Public Libraries and Homelessness: Connecting Vulnerable Patrons to Needed Resources
by Vega, Holiday, M.L.I.Sc., University of Hawai'i at Manoa, 2019, 77; 13811049
Abstract (Summary)

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.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Irvin, Vanesaa
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
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Library science, Social work
Keywords: Compassion, Homelessness needs, Public librarians, Reflective research, Social work and libraries
Publication Number: 13811049
ISBN: 9781085567596
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