Celebrating Veterans at the Local Library

How do you honor a veteran in your life on Memorial Day?

Your neighborhood library supports veterans’ needs while educating the public about their sacrifices.

Veterans risk their lives helping people and representing the nation for various reasons, yet they are often forgotten once their military time is over. Memorial Day is meant to celebrate these hardworking heroes, but what else can we do to honor veterans and learn about their struggles? 

Fortunately, the local library is once again here to help elevate veteran voices this Memorial Day.

Whether offering educational courses, providing volunteer opportunities, or showcasing local veterans, your community library likely has something planned for former soldiers and military workers looking to get on their feet and share their experiences. Here are five ways the library can help educate both veterans and the public during peacetime:

Collaborations and Community Service

Many libraries collaborate with local veteran groups to ensure that vets get everything they need to stay on their feet after leaving the military. The American Library Association cites book talks, seminars, and educational courses led by veterans as ways to elevate veteran voices and teach civilians about what military life is like. 

Other collaborative events like job fairs and resume-building courses are also vital in ensuring local veterans find work after discharge, which can be difficult considering they don’t have experience outside of the military.


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Providing Educational Resources and Licensing Courses

In addition to job fairs and collaborative employment events, libraries also contain massive databases of educational information. When it comes to learning a new skill or preparing for a licensing exam, veterans have complete access to the library’s resources. Free seminars about financial literacy, interview prep, insurance navigation, and trade skills are also vital resources for this population, often left to their own devices after service.

Many libraries also feature Veteran Resource Centers, where they host courses and events specifically for veterans returning to the country/workforce year-round.

Free Access to Arts and Humanities Courses

To help communities connect with their veteran population, arts and humanities courses offered at the public library are great ways to socialize and meet someone new. These courses are ideal for anyone and everyone, so there’s always a chance you’ll meet a vet there!


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Showcasing Local Exhibitions

Local libraries can also connect with local museums, too. If you’ve ever seen a small exhibition at your local library, chances are someone from your town’s historical society curated it specifically for library patrons. These miniature exhibits are fantastic educational tools for the public to learn about local veterans throughout history and how they have represented the nation during times of chaos. 

Creating a Historical Database

If there isn’t an exhibit at your local library and you’d like to find information about old wars like World War I and II, your town’s historian is the first person to ask. Local libraries contain historical records from the areas they serve, including newspaper articles. 



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