2-1-1 and Remembering Miles W. Martin

I was thinking today about the University of Toledo's community information services program that existed in the mid-1970s. Miles W. Martin was active in that program. His advocacy for community information and referral is realized in today's 2-1-1 programs. While there are some 2-1-1 library connections--notably Memphis--there aren't as many library connections as I would have thought. Yet "community referral" is one of the 13 suggested public library responses to community needs in New Planning for Results (ALA, 2001). The work of information and referral specialists and librarians as manifested in their respective organizations-- the Alliance for Information and Referral Services and the American Library Association --has much in common, but there is little contact between the two groups of workers.

What is 2-1-1?
2-1-1 is the telephone number that connects people with community services and volunteer opportunities. Services offered through 2-1-1 vary from community to community but in general 2-1-1 provides callers with information about and referrals to human services for every day needs and in times of crisis. The national network is growing. Librarians should be in the middle of this. 211

Miles W. Martin passed away January 5, 2003 in Storrs, Conn. Memorials were requested for the Covenant Soup Kitchen, 220 Valley St., Willimantic, Conn.