Social Workers in Public Libraries: Resource and Referral Practice and Re-Thinking Patron Engagement

Bennie Finch, Brian Real

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to gather information that can be useful in guiding libraries that hope to hire a social worker, wish to collaborate with social workers in their community, or integrate social work values into librarians’ workflows. The study uses qualitative interviews with social workers from different public library systems. Five major themes emerged through the interviews: engagement, regardless of whether this was with patrons, community partners, or staff; the right to self-determination; the impacts of social isolation; the importance of a trauma-informed model; and the need to balance safety and inclusion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-347
Number of pages23
JournalPublic Library Quarterly
Volume42
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Keywords

  • Social work
  • community outreach
  • law enforcement
  • library policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences

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