Veterans Find Awesome Support at Your Library
If you were to ask me to tell you why libraries are so amazing, I’d have a lot to say. I am, after all, a librarian! However, one aspect of libraries which I really love is that they are great equalizers as entities that protect all Americans’ right to freedom of information. All Americans deserve the right to free speech and low to no cost programming, materials, and services.
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However, our veterans and military service people in particular have especially fought for our freedoms, such as freedom of information. Libraries around the United States exist and flourish due to the efforts of military service members and veterans. Knowing this, it is truly an honor for librarians to serve active duty military personnel and veterans. Today, let’s take a look at what libraries do for veterans and military families.
Libraries work in partnership with veterans’ organizations to serve the men and women who serve us.
Public libraries play a major role when it comes to making people, including veterans, aware of benefits that are accessible to them. Often, veterans first learn about and contact veterans organizations through the efforts of libraries. By providing veterans with referrals to service organizations, librarians point veterans in the right direction and help to minimize the number of lives impacted by the veteran homelessness epidemic.
Through the work of libraries around the country, former military men and women are able to find support through a number of veterans’ programs and organizations. These special groups provide financial solutions, peer to peer emotional support, and housing advice and programs. In order to find out more about all of the services available to veterans, individuals can find the answer by seeking assistance at their local public libraries.
Veterans’ and military families, including children, thrive in public libraries.
Libraries offer a wide array of children’s programming and materials for newborns, teenagers, and all of the ages in between. Because of their dedication to our country, veterans are asked to move their families to military bases all over the United States. While necessary, a lifestyle which requires a lot of moving to different places can make it more difficult for military children to establish roots in local schools.
Fortunately, the local library provides invaluable opportunities for military kids to meet other children, learn together, and to interact with role models, including tutors, librarians, authors, and special library guests. The library is also a place at which families can find homeschooling resources, entertaining educational materials for young people, and access to technology and online resources. When taking their children to the library, military spouses and service members are able to connect with other members of their communities for friendship, support, and parenting advice. Because storytimes and other programs are such a great place to meet members of the community, I frequently see parents and guardians making friends at children’s programs.
The library helps veterans transition out of the military and into the typical workforce.
For veterans who have spent a lot of time as active duty service people, it can be difficult to know where to turn and how to seek new employment. Libraries provide programs and even offer one-on-one assistance for veterans seeking to gain an active role in a new area of the workforce. Veterans, as well as other job-seeking members of the community, should inquire at the library about job-seeking programs or ask to book an appointment with a librarian. Librarians can help veterans to write resumes, build portfolios, and apply for appealing jobs which match their skill sets.
Veterans interested in developing new skills, building their resumes, and searching for jobs can inquire about programming and personalized help at the library. Check out your local library for more information about job fairs, support for individuals seeking employment, and training opportunities which help visitors learn new skills. I advise calling in advance before visiting the library and booking an appointment with a librarian. She can advise you on what programs to attend and provide you with targeted support if you’re searching for a job.
Libraries raise awareness about military service and American history.
Every library is a learning hub filled with resources on almost infinite topics. Visitors can learn more about our nation’s military and the heroes who have upheld our freedom and continue to do so. By promoting information about history and military service, libraries help to knit communities together and to teach individuals to respect and appreciate the sacrifices made by the men and women in the military. Both children and adult visitors can learn to appreciate our history and freedom by visiting the library. An awareness of our struggles and accomplishments as a nation helps individuals to understand why our military heroes decided to join the service and why the American way of life is so precious.
Libraries connect veterans to their much-deserved benefits.
Around the country, many libraries have special programs and centers which help veterans to receive benefits. One example program in California is Veterans Connect at the Library. The purpose of the program is to connect the 1.8 million veterans in the state with benefits. To learn more about California is Veterans Connect @ the Library, visit www.caveterans.org. Examples of special centers for veterans found at a public library can be seen throughout California as part of the Veterans Connect at the Library program as well.
Our librarians may not be on the “front lines” like the brave men and women of our nation’s military who risk their lives for our freedom. However, librarians fight for American rights in a different way: by providing access to information and services. I hope that this article will inspire veterans, military service people, and other Americans to support their local libraries by attending programs and experiencing materials. It’s an honor for libraries to provide opportunities for members of the military and their families because these individuals have given so much to serve all of us Americans. Without the hard work and dedication of the United States military, public entities, such as libraries, which uphold our freedoms wouldn’t exist. Support your local library by visiting and checking out materials or attending a program. By supporting the library, you help librarians continue to serve members of the armed forces, veterans, and the community as a whole.