I was a triage clerk at the Crisis Intervention Center, a “one-stop clearinghouse of social services for the homeless” in my hometown, Las Vegas, Nevada.
Annually, my hometown hosts a Homeless Stand Down to help homeless and at-risk populations, including Veterans. I miss not being there, working side-by-side with my former colleagues. However, I know that I always will hold close my years of working with the homeless population. That time has been one of the most humbling and proudest experiences in my life.
I am here to serve, grounded in my Navy experience and amplified by my real-world exposure to serving those who served. My commitment as library director of the VA Central Office Library to our Nation’s Veterans isn’t restricted to working with internal stakeholders.
“I always will hold close working with the homeless population.”
It also includes working externally with librarians and library workers to cultivate services and programming geared to Veterans who live in diverse communities.
Forum to develop tools for Veterans, their families and service members
It was an honor to chair the VA Librarians Committee and collaborate with Texas A&M University’s Libraries and Veterans National Forum. The forum was established by Texas A&M University’s librarians to create a platform for librarians who serve the general public, military, academic or specialized libraries, such as medical libraries.
The forum sought to develop educational toolkits to support Veterans and military service members and their families.
The VA Librarians Committee worked with other specialty librarians to develop toolkits which are publicly available resources for all types of libraries to support programming focused on Veterans and military patrons.
Topics include health literacy, service animals, nutrition, fitness, suicide prevention, PTSD awareness, homeless stand downs, warrior care month and many others.
Goal for libraries to meet the needs of Veterans
Each submission contains information regarding the project or program’s description, development outline, partners and stakeholders, recommended resources and various assessment tools. The ultimate goal for these toolkits is to support libraries in meeting the complex and varied needs of their Veteran and military member communities.
It is also an honor that the VA Librarians Committee was selected to present a poster at the Medical Library Association 2022 annual conference in May. This poster concentrates on the collaborative efforts of this forum in planning and refining over ten 10 toolkits with the purpose of helping various library types to better meet the needs of their Veteran and military communities.
This platform provides a tremendous opportunity for VA Librarians to collaborate with librarians across the country to showcase subject-matter expertise of the Veterans Affairs Library Network (VALNET),
VALNET is the largest health care library network in the United States, providing library services and resources to Veteran inpatients and outpatients, their families and caregivers.
Joining me are VA Librarians Committee members Cheryl R. Banick, Providence VA; Dr. Bianca Brillant, St. Cloud VA; Nancy Clark, VA Library Network Office; and Jennifer Jones, Fargo VA.