Every Reader Her Book: Creation of a Therapeutic Library at a Women’s Residential Treatment Facility

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In July 2015, an interdisciplinary team of librarians, information professionals, and education specialists began development of a therapeutic library for the women residents of the Drug Abuse Comprehensive Coordinating Office, Inc. (DACCO) in Tampa, Florida. This 88-bed alcohol and other drug (AOD) addiction treatment center’s mission is to provide counseling for substance abuse and co-occurring mental health conditions. Treatment lasts from 6 to 8 months. The residential population is racially, ethnically, and socio-economically diverse, with many residents referred through the criminal justice system with the stipulation that they cannot leave the treatment center without prior court approval. Prior to the establishment of this library, residents did not have access to the Internet or reading materials. With funding from a grant from the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), the team began to design a therapeutic library for the women residents. The DACCO library now offers services to the center and its residents that focus on providing therapeutic outcomes consistent with their treatment goals. Service promises include circulation, reference services, and health literacy instruction. This article discusses the creation of a model therapeutic library and the future of providing services to special populations who reside in a restricted environment with little or no access to Web-based resources.

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Journal of Hospital Librarianship, v.17, issue 1, p. 42-52