Intent on finding a safe place to spend the day, the elderly woman trudged into the public library, burdened with several bags of precious possessions. She was immediately greeted by the sight of a library worker thrusting out a hand and snapping, “No, you can’t bring those things in here.”
“She said she felt like she was being struck,” explains Caroline Sharkey. A licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) on the faculty of the University of Georgia’s School of Social Work in Athens, Sharkey heard the story from a librarian acquaintance who witnessed the incident.
As it happened, the woman had experienced domestic violence that led to her becoming homeless. According to the acquaintance, the stern words and gesture of a probably well-meaning worker had reignited that trauma, leaving her feeling far less safe than before she stepped inside.
[For more on this story by Anne Ford, go to https://americanlibrariesmagaz...auma-informed-model/]