A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online

Serving Those Who Served: The Libraries and Veterans Toolkit

by Janice M. Young, Director, Veterans Affairs Central Office Library on March 30, 2023

Public Library Association and Veterans Affairs Central Office Library Partnership

Librarians at the Department of Veterans Affairs participated in the Libraries and Veterans National Forum, a partnership of over 250 librarians sponsored by Texas A&M University. The Forum collected program ideas to assist public librarians with developing programming for and around veterans, active-duty military service members, and their families. The results were compiled in Libraries and Veterans Toolkit: Serving Those Who Served , an online gateway for librarians to find resources they can adapt to their local context.

The 90+ toolkits are publicly available and free of charge. They can be browsed by library type, resource type, targeted audience, and topic. Each entry includes the building blocks of a program, links to online content, and its origins (including the town and library branch where it began). Library staff can adapt the kits to cultivate services and programming such as book clubs, displays, resource fairs, public speakers, storytime, and many others. Toolkits cover over two dozen topics such as health literacy, service animals, nutrition, veteran stories, celebrations and recognitions, minority veterans, suicide prevention, PTSD awareness, Homeless Stand Downs, and Warrior Care Month.

Public librarians across the country assist countless veterans and military families every day. The “Libraries and Veterans” Toolkit offers invaluable assistance to public libraries via programming resources that will aid all members of their communities.

For questions, contact the Veterans Affairs Central Ofice Library at VACOLibrarians@va.gov.