Local libraries provide more than books and computers


Did you know that the Huntsville Madison County Library System has resources for the whole community, including the homeless, job seekers, and those just looking for a good book?

During Reach Out to Your Neighbor Month, the Huntsville Madison County Library System (HMCPL) is spotlighting some of its services that you might not know about.

The Downtown Library, located near the Von Braun Center, serves a diverse population because of its location. Branch services, including free computers, free Wi-FI, and books and magazines, are available to guests dealing with homelessness, and they can access a free phone for local phone calls.

According to Connie Chow, Downtown Huntsville Library Branch Manager, for patrons who need guidance to aid resources, the library partners with local organizations including the North Alabama Coalition for the Homeless (NACH). NACH has a satellite office on the second floor of the library and assisted over 4,600 individuals in 2018. 

Their office hours are 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday through Thursday and they provide the following services:

– applications for housing lists
– applications for  copies of birth certificates, social security cards, and voter ID
– Continuum ID (a non-government identification card)
– food stamp, family assistance, and housing authority applications
– referrals to other agencies for services NACH is unable to provide
– winter necessities such as blankets, scarves, gloves, and hats
– snack packs
– hygiene kits
– bus passes on a case-by-case basis

The library also partners with Wellstone Behavioral Health to offer office hours with a peer support specialist. The specialist is onsite from 9 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. on Fridays to share information and give referrals to the mental health services that Wellstone offers.

And if you want books for kids or adults? The library has these in physical, audio, and digital format. There’s also a Bookmobile that goes to community locations and events to bring the books to the people.

Various libraries also host book clubs, game times, classes, storytimes, discussion and support groups, and special events for children and teens.

Guests are encouraged to explore their local library and see what’s available for them.

For more information on Reach Out to Your Neighbor Month and library services, click here.


Source: Huntsville Library blog, Library offers services for patrons in need

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