Veteran Views of the Library: A Qualitative Study

JJ Pionke


As a user population of libraries, veterans have been a much discussed topic for the past several years. Most of the literature has focused on outreach efforts but included very little input from veterans themselves. As part of a larger project to capture veteran narratives of service, and using the Library of Congress Veteran’s History Project protocol, veterans were asked about library use and reading habits while in the service. This study sought out feedback from veterans on how they view the library, how they use the library, and what improvements or changes they would like to see in the libraries that they visit. This small study revealed several trends in how veterans viewed themselves, including being self-sacrificing for the good of the whole, being reserved about veteran status, and having a strong sense of community. The trends observed in this small sample can be used to better focus outreach efforts towards this special-needs population.

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