Linworth Libraries Unlimited

Serving Those Who Served

Librarian's Guide to Working with Veteran and Military Communities

by Sarah LeMire and Kristen J. Mulvihill


Veterans deserve the best we have to give—and this guide will show you how to provide it.

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Cover image for Serving Those Who Served

February 2017

Libraries Unlimited

Pages 181
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics Adult Services and Programs/People with Disabilities
  Adult Services and Programs/Senior Populations

Practical advice on how best to serve veterans, service members, and their families in your community, including effective ways to develop new outreach partnerships and collaborations.

Whether you work in a public library, an academic library, a school library, or any other type of library, you are likely to encounter members of the veteran and military communities. This book is a starting point to help librarians, library administrators, and all library employees understand how veterans, service members, and their families can be different from other patrons, recognize important elements of military and veteran culture, and identify strategies for effectively serving the veteran and military communities.

In this book, you find tips to help you determine the size and the needs of the veteran and military communities in your local area. You'll learn about some common information requests and information-seeking behavior of veterans and service members. You'll discover how to take the needs and also the unique strengths of the veteran and military communities into account when developing library outreach efforts, programs, services, and collections. And you'll gain insights to help you harness the knowledge, strengths, and experiences of the veteran and military communities in order to help them fulfill their potential as an asset to the library and to the community.


  • The first guidebook of its kind, intended to support librarians, administrators, and library employees of all types better serve the veteran and military communities
  • Presents insights from authors who are both Army veterans as well as professional librarians engaged in working with the veteran and military communities in libraries
  • Explains how to estimate the number of veterans, service members, and their families in your library community and provides an overview of the types of issues and questions they may have
  • Provides recommendations to help librarians coordinate their efforts with existing military and veterans' organizations in order to provide the best, most efficient programs and services for veterans, service members, and their families
  • Offers concrete ideas and suggestions related to outreach, programming, services, and collection development for the veteran and military communities
Author Info

Sarah LeMire is the first year experience and outreach librarian at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX, where she provides outreach and support to student veterans and other military communities on her campus. She was recognized as a member of ALA's 2015 class of Emerging Leaders. Before becoming a librarian, LeMire served in the U.S. Army as an Arabic linguist, including a deployment to Iraq in 2005–2006. She is the spouse of a current Army service member and a parent to two young girls.

Kristen J. Mulvihill, MLIS, is a librarian at the San Diego Public Library. She has taught workshops about military veterans in California and served as a consultant on working with this community since 2012. Mulvihill earned a Master of Library and Information Science degree at San Jose State University after receiving a Librarians for Diverse Communities Scholarship from the Serra Cooperative from 2010 until 2012. She also holds a master's degree in Chinese from the University of Oregon. While serving in the military in the early 1990s, Mulvihill earned a Meritorious Service Medal and two Army Achievement Medals. She collaborates with other librarians who work with veterans and military families across the country.



"Highly recommended for all librarians, especially those serving large populations of service members and veterans."Library Journal, Starred Review

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