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IFLA Guidelines for library services for people experiencing homelessness

“The IFLA Section for Library Services to People with Special Needs (LSN) focuses on those persons who, because of their living conditions and/or physical, mental, or cognitive disabilities, are unable to access current library services. Much in the same way, people experiencing homelessness face a series of barriers preventing them from obtaining equal access to library services due to their living conditions, poor mental and physical health, and prejudice. These guidelines have evolved from the work LSN has done to address these barriers. It should be noted that library services to refugees are included in these Guidelines. They face many of the same challenges as people experiencing homelessness. Homelessness is a community challenge. An important prerequisite for efficient and sustainable services related to homelessness is building a network of multiple stakeholders to work with people experiencing homelessness”


“The purpose of these guidelines includes:

• Provide an insight into the complex issue of homelessness and thus contribute to overcoming stereotypes, prejudice and barriers faced by people experiencing homelessness

• Based on good practice examples from around the world, propose ways and give recommendations for planning, organizing, delivering, advocating, funding and evaluating library services to people experiencing homelessness

• Encourage libraries to connect with stakeholders in the care of people experiencing homelessness in order to offer them as efficient and sustainable services as possible

• Support libraries as places where not a single person who is experiencing or has experienced homelessness will be left behind.”