iSchool professor Loriene Roy has always had a desire to bring services to U.S. military veterans. Roy’s father received a Bronze Star in the Korean War. Two years ago, she started working with SongwritingWith:Soldiers, a nonprofit organization founded by Austin singer and songwriter Darden Smith. The nonprofit pairs veterans and active-duty service members with professional songwriters to craft songs about their military experiences, often about combat and returning home.
Roy recently received a $49,959 one-year planning grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services titled “Libraries and Veterans: Identifying Services and Possibilities.” Roy and her graduate research assistants, Frances Richard and Nina Barker, traveled to the annual Tribal College Librarians Professional Development Institute to talk with library workers from tribal settings.
“Helping military veterans has been an interest of mine for some time,” she said. “We’ve learned the library and librarians are great at providing many things, besides research services, for all people, especially veterans. We’re looking forward to gathering even more stories. We’ve made such great connections with tribes and reservations having populations of military veterans.”
Services that librarians can implement for veterans can range from veterans seeking job placement upon returning home to assisting them in completing health benefits paperwork.