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Libraries and the homeless: Experiences, challenges and opportunities - socio-economic background of homelessness in Croatia

Εκτύπωση σελίδας

Purpose The purpose of the study is to present three models of organising library services for the homeless. The work experience of Zagreb City Libraries in each of the models provides a better insight into the challenges of each model and into the ways of overcoming them. Furthermore, it may indicate to others what to expect during the implementation of such models. Design/methodology/approach The study presents first‐hand real‐life experiences in organising the project for the homeless and its programs. The project of Zagreb City Libraries “A Book for a Roof” was made possible by the grant awarded by the international non‐profit organisation EIFL (Electronic Information for Libraries). Findings The author's experience shows that each model poses certain challenges and opportunities for the library and its partners regardless of the location of the library services – whether they were organised in the library or the shelter – and regardless of the necessary attendance – regular or occasional. Originality/value The author's experience from the pioneering project of the Zagreb City Libraries “A Book for a Roof” is particularly valuable in that the project has the goal of empowering the homeless to become actively involved in the labor market. Furthermore, most of the project was implemented at the largest homeless shelter in Zagreb. Librarians in public libraries thus found themselves in front of new and more complex challenges in organising services for the homeless.


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