As we get ready to honor those who have served our country on Veterans Day, it's a good time to remember that the Los Angeles Public Library supports veterans in a variety of ways all year long. We checked in with Principal Librarian Alicia Moguel and her team who run these crucial programs for veterans–both by providing access to services online and in person. Here are a few innovative ways the library works to support veterans through collaborative partnerships.
Los Angeles Public Library, with support from the California State Library, is host to VetNow, a website service which connects veterans with easy-to-access benefits counselors as well as job coaches and tutors. This is a new way for veterans to learn about their benefits, and the Los Angeles Public Library was the first library system in the country to go live with this valuable service and serve as a pilot.
Veterans are able to take interactive online courses and practice exams in a wide range of topics through the library's Online Resources for both personal enrichment and professional development. LearningExpress Library, Lynda.com and Universal Class are just a few examples.
Voyant, one of the library’s online resources for users to research job opportunities, allows veterans to use military code to search for jobs. Veterans will be able to translate job skills, find opportunities, reach out to employers and manage the application process to make the most of every career opportunity.
One particularly successful partnership is the Veterans Make Movies grant from Institute of Museum and Library Services along with Los Angeles Public Library and LACMA. This has been a successful three year grant in which veterans have attended 8-week film making classes at one of the four Veterans Resource Centers at the library. While the grant is coming to close, it has offered many veterans a unique and powerful storytelling opportunity and almost 80 films were made.
The Los Angeles Public Library has four Veterans Resource Centers and each provides veterans with in-person guidance from volunteers who can deeply listen and provide the best and most appropriate resources to veterans and their family members seeking assistance from education, employment, housing, health to other benefits for which they may be eligible. Since their inception in 2013, Veterans Resource Centers, which are supported through a grant from the California State Library have helped more than 4,000 veterans.
Although the library will be closed this Friday and Saturday for Veterans Day, you can still access our Media Archive with videos and podcasts from past ALOUD programs. To commemorate Veterans Day, listen to a podcast with Norman Davies looking back at World War II, or a talk with David Finkel on returning from deployment, or watch this video on stories from war:
Originally published on the Library Foundation of Los Angeles blog Fifth and Flower on November 2, 2017.