Libraries & Veterans National Forum Toolkit

Sarah LeMire, Project Director, Libraries & Veterans National Forum /
display case with military items
Image ‘Honoring Military Service Display” by Chris Magnusson

Veterans, military service members, and their families are among users of virtually every library across the country. Indeed, libraries play a significant role in supporting veterans and military-affiliated patrons by welcoming them to the community, providing resources during transitions, connecting them with other veterans, and even simply recognizing their service. Although many libraries already engage their veteran and military-affiliated patrons, others are just getting started. The Libraries & Veterans Toolkit can help! 

The Toolkit was created by librarians, for librarians. Their insightful contributions include success stories, ideas for library programming, and approaches to services for veteran and military-affiliated patrons. It is intended as a resource for library staff who are working with veteran and military-affiliated patrons for the first time, as well as for those who are already engaged in this work and are looking for new ideas. And if you have a program or idea to share, there’s a link on the homepage to contribute your own entry to the Toolkit!

The Toolkit contains a host of practical ideas for how libraries of all types and sizes can better support their veteran and military-affiliated patrons, including outlines for:

empty study room with desks and military mural
Image “Student Veteran Study Room” by Sarah LeMire. 
  • Exhibits - Provides ideas for displays and exhibits on a variety of topics ranging from women veterans to veteran tattoos.
  • Book clubs - Includes strategies for organizing and marketing book clubs to veteran and military-affiliated patrons, along with suggestions for books and themes
  • Creative events - Engaging veterans, military families, and the public in arts and crafts activities ranging from art therapy sessions to paint nights.
  • Collections  - Suggestions for books and other materials that can be added to library collections and LibGuides to support veteran and military-affiliated patrons.
  • Celebrations - Ideas for veteran engagement and recognition for Veterans Day and all through the year
  • Spaces - Descriptions of spaces created just for veteran and military-affiliated patrons, ranging from study rooms to lounges to reading rooms.
  • And more!

Visit the Toolkit

And view the recording for the webinar WebJunction hosted, exploring strategies highlighted in the Toolkit: Practical Strategies for Engaging Veteran and Military-Affiliated Patrons at Your Library.

The Libraries and Veterans National Forum project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (LG-12-19-0114). 

For more on serving veterans in your library, check out these resources: