Supporting Those Who Serve: How Libraries Can Create a Space of Welcome for Military Families
Thursday, September 1 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Every year, hundreds of thousands of military families find themselves moving to a new duty station. With the constant changes in the pace of life, place of being, and connection to communities, military families are looking for support as they adapt to their new communities. Research shows that military families experience isolation and stress as a result of consistent moves and life changes, and often do not feel a sense of belonging in the civilian communities where they live. This can lead to increased stress and lower wellness outcomes. Increasing a sense of community and belonging within military families can support an increase in both family and community resilience. The library has an opportunity to be a community hub to welcome military families and support their transitions into the communities where they serve.
Participants will leave with a general knowledge of how military life impacts members of military families and will leave with concrete ideas and recommendations on creating relationships with military families, base leadership, and military support organizations to better serve this population.
Presented by :: Nicole Rawlinson
Nicole Rawlinson is a military spouse of over ten years. Throughout this time, her family has seen seven moves across the country and has experienced the challenges of adapting to new communities as a military family firsthand. She is a former public librarian and current program manager at Blue Star Families, serving military families across the country through a suite of programs designed to welcome and support military families wherever they are stationed. With a background in community-focused services to youth and families, Nicole leads with her passion for creating relationships and connecting communities. She has spent her career developing and supporting programs that drive equity through community voice, inspiring young people, and building up resilient future leaders. She has focused on community-empowered approaches to programming, services, and professional development within the museum and library services field, and now approaches this work through the lens of military family support. Nicole holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cleveland State University and a Master of Library and Information Science from Kent State University, both in her home state of Ohio. She currently resides in the greater Washington, D.C. area with her spouse, their two children, and their adopted pets.