#MacroSW chat for 3/15/2018: The emerging social work role in public libraries.

I’m hosting this week’s #MacroSW chat on 3/15/2018.

During Social Work Month, let’s celebrate a special facet of our practice: social workers are team members. We are found in hospital units, community planning organizations, and in many other formal or informal groups. While not as pronounced, social workers have become more active in the environment of the public library.  Examples of this growth in social work presence include Denver, Colorado, where a library social worker addresses needs of people who are homeless; an Anchorage, Alaska library social worker addressing homeless needs there; a social worker addressing mental health needs of community members at the St. Paul Public Libraries; and social workers aligned with the Richland, South Carolina library system, where patrons can schedule appointments via a web portal.

What factors are behind this increased social work presence? It’s worth observing that librarians, educators, and other civil servants have led the change to adapt library environments to community…

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Author: Stephen Cummings

I've been involved with the social work field for over 20 years, although I needed a good mentor early on to state explicitly: "You know what you are doing is social work, right?" I worked with a community-based agency for people with intellectual disabilities before seeking my MSW. After graduating, I worked as a hospital social worker for 10 years, focusing on interventions for trauma patients and families. I've had an interest in technology in the field of social work practice, which led me to my current role as the Distance Education Director and Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Iowa School of Social Work.

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