Social Work Interest Group

last person joined: 18 hours ago 

This community is for anyone interested in learning more about social work in public libraries. The PLA Social Worker Task Force will use this space to discuss issues facing public libraries, provide a space to connect with others, generate and share best practices and resources.
  • 1.  Welcome!

    Posted Mar 21, 2019 09:48 AM
    Edited by Kathleen Hughes Mar 22, 2019 11:50 AM
    Welcome to the Social Work Interest Group
    Social work is emerging as a function of many public libraries. As American societal safety nets have fallen away, public libraries have added another role to their already vital work, that of de facto social service centers. Whether by providing referrals to persons experiencing homelessness, managing mental health crises, advising on substance use issues, working with the formerly incarcerated, or through some other service, libraries are helping many persons experiencing difficulties. While some libraries can hire social workers to manage this influx, at others, librarians are filling the gap and providing social work services. The Public Library Association (PLA) recognizes the hiring of social work professionals in public libraries as an emerging trend. PLA also sees the growing need to share related resources to better inform and support the public library field, who are often providing social services without the benefit of a social worker on staff. In this space we hope to help answer your questions, have important conversations, and provide resources that can help your library provide the best service to patrons.

    Kathleen Hughes
    Manager of Publications/Editor "Public Libraries"
    American Library Association
    Public Library Association