Realizing the “Poor People’s Policy” through community needs assessment: Opportunities to learn from HIV/AIDS information outreach projects (2013) is an essay developed in competition for the 2013 Miriam Braverman Memorial Prize from my contemporaneous graduate research at Drexel University. In it, I detail the failure of American public libraries to affect the kind social change envisioned in ALA Policy 61 (now B.8.10), 'Library Services to the Poor,' blaming in particular the myopic research and philanthropic focus on access to public computing stations as a major contributor to professional ambivalence surrounding the topic. Using successful information outreach projects from among HIV/AIDS advocacy efforts and specifically Philadelphia's AIDS Library as a case study, I argue instead for a model of services to marginalized communities based on direct needs assessment.

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