Repository logo

Public library users: perspectives of socially vulnerable populations

Faculty Advisor




Edmonton Public Library, homeless, inclusivity, library behavior policy, library staff, public space, safety, socially vulnerable population

Abstract (summary)

Modern public libraries strive for inclusivity. Part of this effort involves enhancing staff capacity for engaging with socially vulnerable populations. This paper presents the outcomes of a study on library use by homeless adults, one of the most vulnerable of populations. The study employed a mix of methods. Part one was quantitative: a survey of library patrons. A second, qualitative phase involved focus groups – two of which were comprised of homeless patrons. Several areas of concern and need emerged, including physical space, safety, library services, and interactions with the library staff.

Publication Information

S. Richter, J. Bell, M. K. Jackson, L. D. Lee, P. Dashora & S. Surette (2019) Public Library Users: Perspectives of Socially Vulnerable Populations, Journal of Library Administration, 59:4, 431-441.


Item Type




All Rights Reserved