During the Fall of 2021, over 250 librarians from academic, public, school, state, and VA libraries who had experience in providing services and programs that serve veterans met during the Libraries and Veterans National Forum. The purpose of this meeting was to help libraries learn how to better serve their local military communities.
Now, as part of this project, a toolkit is available to Massachusetts librarians that provides tools and resources to bring the findings of the forum statewide. Sharon Public Library Director Lee Ann Amend has been involved with the project since the beginning and has been crucial in making these resources available to all librarians in the state.
“The Libraries and Veterans National Forum was begun with a desire to serve the veteran and military communities,” says Amend. “The toolkit provides librarians with a list of lesson plans, exhibit ideas, program outlines, collection development ideas, tips and best practices, and much more.”
The toolkit is now available on the MBLC website as a free resource for any library looking to do outreach or programming for veterans, active military, and their families.
The Libraries and Veterans National Forum is a nationwide project and was funded in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
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The Sharon Public Library received a grant from the Libraries and Veterans National Forum Grant, Texas A&M University, with funding provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. This grant paid for a special collection of materials for veterans and their families on the following topics:
veteran’s benefits, military spouses and their dependents, PTSD, mental health and substance use, technical careers, higher education, and job services. Free lap blankets were provided by the Sharon COA/ Knitters/Crochet Club and are free for the taking. A laptop with a headset is also available for veterans who need it for virtual interviews.