Librarians expect lots of questions from patrons about where to find a book or DVD they are looking for and what online resource is best for information about car repair. Librarians at DeKalb County Public Library (DCPL) realized they were also getting questions that were much more difficult for them to answer—like “Where do I go if I’m being evicted?” So they decided to do something about it.
This October, the New Librarians Committee, made up of librarians who have been with DCPL for less than a year, launched a website they developed for patrons who need help beyond what the library can provide. The DCPL HelpPages–dekalblibrary.org/helppages—is a directory of community resources and facilities for people in need. It provides information for people looking for assistance finding shelters, employment, legal aid, food pantries, transportation and more.
Each listing in the HelpPages includes the organization’s address, phone number and a link to its website, when available. Committee member Martin Bennett, a librarian at the Stone Mountain-Sue Kellogg branch, says the group is committed to making sure the information listed is reliable.
“We plan to keep the site up to date. It’s easy for us to change and even includes an e-mail address patrons can use to notify us if they find outdated information,” Bennett said.
The HelpPages also invites patrons to send an e-mail about additional community organizations and resources not already listed on the site.