Nearly a quarter of Edmonton library patrons struggle with housing: study – Folio

by ahnationtalk on December 5, 2019108 Views

Equitable access to public libraries helps socially vulnerable people maintain personal connections, says U of A researcher.

A public library should be equitable to all members of society, regardless of how they choose to use it, according to a new University of Alberta study that suggests libraries have a role to play in connecting with society’s socially vulnerable populations.

“The library is the last public space where homeless people are not labelled as homeless,” said Solina Richter, a nursing professor and lead author on the Socially Vulnerable Populations Project.

Richter and her team interviewed librarians and patrons at six branches of the Edmonton Public Library over five months starting in April 2015, hoping to shed light on how socially vulnerable patrons currently use the library and its resources.

“A lot of homeless people use the library during the day, especially during the winter,” she said.

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