Helping Military Families in the Library

For Preservation Week 2013, ALA created a new section in the Preservation Week website focusing on issues that military personnel, their families, and their friends encounter when they want to save, document, or record their family’s military experience.

Librarians who serve this community were asked for information and suggestions based on their interaction with their patrons. Resources For Military Families features articles and resources. Print-ready handouts, Quick Preservation Tips: for Military Families and Quick Preservation Tips: Take the First Step can be passed on to library patrons for easy reference.

This information is just the tip of the iceberg and this effort is the beginning of a much longer conversation. To share personal stories that illustrate the importance of saving and preserving meaningful keepsakes for future family members, please share them on the Preservation Week Facebook page. Your stories and examples can encourage military families to take the time to preserve these important memories.

These additional resources are recommended to help librarians who serve military families and veterans.

General Resources

Ainspan, Nathan D. and Walter Penk. When the Warrior Returns: Making the Transition at Home. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2012. WorldCat Permalink:

Blaisure, Karen. Serving Military Families in the 21st Century. New York: Routledge, 2012. WorldCat Permalink:

Cohen, Sarah, “Vets Preserve Memories of War with Their Own Art.” The Big Story (AP), Nov 10, 2012.

Evans K.“Serving Those Who Served Us: Resources for Active Duty Soldiers and Veterans.” College and Research Libraries News 73, no. 8 (2012): 470–73, 480.

Voice of the Veteran: The Library’s Veterans History Project Was Created out of a Need to Preserve Memories of Older Vets, but Has Reached out to Today’s Soldiers as Well.” Library of Congress Information Bulletin 70, nos. 9/10 (2011): 456–57.

Resources Addressing Injury and Trauma

Ainspan, Nathan D. and Walter Penk. Returning Wars’ Wounded, Injured, and Ill: A Reference Handbook. Westport, CT: Praeger Security International, 2008. WorldCat Permalink:

Meredith, Lisa S. Promoting Psychological Resilience in the U.S. Military. Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 2011.

Preservation Week is grateful to the Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress and the Society of American Archivists, Oral History Section for their generous contributions to this project.

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