Books and benefits : a new chapter in the story of libraries and social work collaboration
Libraries began hiring social service professionals to be a part of the library staff in 2009 (Blank, 2014). Since then, the practice of having a social worker on staff or collaborating with local social service agencies is growing in popularity in many metropolitan areas. Libraries have become a place where many homeless people gather when shelters close for the day. Having a social worker on staff at a library helps provide people with the resources to meet their basic needs. Many libraries are still experimenting with the best ways to implement social work services and may benefit from the suggestions in a basic guide. The following two guides are presented in this paper: one for an urban library and one for a rural library. These guides contain general needs found in each area, potential service ideas, potential community partners and professional service providers, and resources tailored to the needs of both kinds of libraries.