A Social Worker in the Library?

Each day, librarians and front-line library staff find themselves in the position of serving as de facto social workers, referring library patrons to needed services, helping them navigate forms on the computer, and sometimes just listening. In response to user needs, some libraries in California and Arizona have embedded social workers in their libraries. If having a real social worker in the library is one response to the needs of the people we serve, what are other responses? How are staff members being trained? Are innovative alliances with community service organizations taking place? In this session, we will look at how some Oregon libraries are helping their patrons navigate social services.