The Idea“…to encourage all veterans, active and retired, towrite about their experiences for their own benefitor to share them with friends and family.”
About UsNancy Faget Branch Chief, U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Information Resources Branch Past President, ALA FAFLRT (Federal and Armed Forces Libraries Round Table)Michelle Dunaway NMRT – FAFLRT Liaison, 2011- present
Presentation OverviewMilitary Writers Workshops Organizing, Planning, Outreach Obstacles & OutcomesVeterans and Libraries Academic Libraries Public Libraries
Special Thanks This presentation was made possible by Amy Hartman and Holly Baumgartner who shared their idea with us and gave generously of their knowledge, resources, and support. Thank you for your commitment to improving the lives of our nation’s veterans,and for starting this very important conversation.
The CurriculumWeek 1: Writing About PlaceWeek 2: Writing About EventsWeek 3: Using Humor In WritingWeek 4: Writing About a Memorable PersonWeek 4: Writing About YourselfWeek 6: Using Reflection in Writing
The CurriculumExamplesfrom professional writers • Sebastian Junger, War (Iraq War) • Philip Caputo, A Rumor of War (Vietnam War) • “Studs” Terkel, The Good War (WWII)Exercises based on examples“Notice the differences in style between Terkel’s book, which containspassages taken directly from spoken interviews, and what we find in Junger’sbook, which is very polished and edited narrative writing. Think about howusing each method of writing (raw vs. polished) can be effective in sharingyour experience.”From Week 2, Writing About Events
Outcomes & Obstacles“I spoke with the members that you would havebeen interested in and what I found was they arenot interested in discussing with anyone theirexperiences involving the armed conflicts theywere thrown in to. The truth is they would neitherwish to remember it nor do they wish to discusstheir experiences with anyone.”
Recruiting Participants:Outreach & Marketing Disseminated program information to local newspapers via press releases Prominently featured “push” on library’s website Communicated with local VFW posts, Vietnam Veterans of America, local Rotary organization Hung flyers around college campus Posted information to college website
Veterans and the Cultural and Historical RecordPermalink: http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/758671163
Veterans By the Numbers Veteran Population = 22.7 million(WWII , Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War, Iraq War) OEF/OIF Veterans = 2.4 million (deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq, or both since 09/2001)
ConsiderationsUnique group with unique life events and experiencesSkills and coping mechanisms that she or he developedduring service may be counterproductive ormisunderstood in civilian lifeReadjustment is a major challengeFamilies, friends, caregivers may need assistance copingwith changesExtensive information needs relating to all of theabove
Veterans’ Information Needs Benefits & Services e.g. eligibility, forms, service records Health & Well-Being e.g. mental health, crisis prevention, caregiver support Connect & Communicate e.g. reunite with comrades, find veterans’ organizations(Schneider, 2001)
Public & Academic Libraries: PossibilitiesDevelop collections that… o provide support for returning soldiers and their families o provide information on specific conditions and information about claiming benefits o educate and inform the publicCreate pathfinder or LibGuide for onlineinformation resources o local, state, federal resources
Key Online ResourcesU.S. Department of Veterans Affairs http://www.va.gov/National Archives: Veterans Service Records http://www.archives.gov/veterans/Library of Congress Veterans History Projecthttp://www.loc.gov/vets
Veterans and Higher EducationPost-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008(“Post-9/11 GI Bill”) Financial support for education to all service members with at least 90 days active duty after September 10, 2001 Pays a percentage (up to 100 %) tuition & fees for four years (36 months) up to the cost of the most expensive public institution in the state in which the Veteran enrolls
The Data Number of Veterans Utilizing Education Benefits, 2001 - 20111,000,000 800,000 600,000 923,038 400,000 200,000 0 Source: National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics 421, 048 http://www.va.gov/vetdata/
However…“As a subpopulation of adult learners, military andveteran students have unique challenges that othernontraditional students do not…”(Cook & Kim, 2009)
Study: Student Veterans at Arizona State UniversityHow can campus programs and services: aid student veterans in transition? support academic success? foster retention? (Weber, 2012)
Study of Student Veterans at Arizona State UniversityFrequency of ASU Programs and Services UtilizationAcademic Advising Services: 63.8 %Office of Veterans Services: 63.8 %Library Services: 59.1 %Financial Aid Services: 54.8 %(Weber, 2012, p. 73 - 74)
Veterans and Academic Libraries: PossibilitiesIncrease library staff knowledge of resources and services forveteransWork with academic support services to coordinate enhanceddelivery of VA education benefits information and counselingProvide a veteran-specific orientation to introduce newmilitary/veteran students to library programs and servicesSupport or “sponsor” a new student veteran organizationConnect with existing groups to identify ways to support academicsuccessOffer a military/veteran student gathering placeOffer an online course designed to help student veterans becomefamiliar with campus programs, resources, and services
ConclusionsVeterans are a unique segment of Americanpopulation.Government agencies, educational institutions, andlibraries can all contribute to veterans’ successtransitioning to civilian life and academic life.Libraries are uniquely positioned to function as“portals” to information and services that benefitveterans and their families.
ReferencesCook, B. J., & Kim, Y. (2009). From soldier to student: Easing the transition of service members on campus. Retrieved from American Council on Education: http://www.acenet.edu/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Papers_Publications&TEMPLATE=/CM/Content Display.cfm&CONTENTID=33242Hartman, A., & Baumgartner, H. (2011). Helping warriors unleash the power of the pen. American Libraries, November/December 2011. Retrieved from http://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/features/11082011/helping-warriors-unleash-power-penHartman, A., & Baumgartner, H. L. (2011). In our boots: A collection of veterans stories: Veterans Writing Workshop 2010 – 2011. Sylvania, Ohio: Lourdes College.Hughes, M. A. (2011). Collection development: Back on the home front. Library Journal , 12. Retrieved from http://www.libraryjournal.com/lj/home/890883- 264/collection_development__back_on.html.cspSchneider, J. M. (2001). Arming themselves with information: Veterans using the internet. Health Care on the Internet, 5(1), 21-30. doi: 10.1300/J138v05n01_02Weber, D. J. (2012). Academic success and well-being following OEF/OIF deployment (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from Proquest Dissertations & Theses A&I (Accession No. 3495315).
Additional ResourcesIraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America: http://iava.org/Make the Connection: Shared Experiences and Support forVeterans: http://maketheconnection.net/Returning Service Members (OEF/OIF):http://www.oefoif.va.gov/Student Veterans of America:http://www.studentveterans.org/Veterans Crisis Line: http://www.veteranscrisisline.net/
Veterans Writing Workshops Curriculum BibliographyAppy, C. (2003). Patriots: The Vietnam war remembered from all sides. New York: Viking.Caputo, P. (1986). A rumor of war. New York: Henry Holt and Co.Herr, M. (1991). Dispatches. New York: Vintage Books.Junger, S. (2010). War. New York: Twelve.Peters, R., & Xiaobing, L. (2004). Voices from the Korean War: Personal stories ofAmerican, Korean, and Chinese soldiers. Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky.Rico, J. (2007). Blood makes the grass grow green: A year in the desert with Team America.New York: Presidio Press: Ballantine Books.Terkel, S. (1984). The Good War: An oral history of World War II. New York: PantheonBooks.Tupper, B. (2010). Greetings from Afghanistan: Send more ammo. New York: NAL Caliber.