Public libraries are starting to play a larger role as a referrer of community health and social services. Many larger public library systems (such as Washington, D.C. and San Francisco) are adding social workers to their employee roster. In a recent TechSoup for Libraries and WebJunction co-hosted webinar, we examined social service referral programs from three libraries of varying sizes. And at ALA 2015, WebJunction showcased its Health Happens in Libraries program along with five library participants at a poster session.
But for libraries that don’t have the budget or staffing to develop a robust social services or meal program, a tool like Range is an easy (and free!) way to get started. One librarian I spoke with said that she posted a flier about Range on her library’s community bulletin board. She said that although they don’t get a lot of questions about social services, there is a high poverty rate in her community. She thought that posting Range’s information could help a family in need if they were too afraid to ask.