Macro-level Programming

Upon completion of needs assessment(s), interns can enhance existing library programs or brainstorm new ones.  The following MACRO (large, meta) programs are organized by common, presenting needs.

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  • Coffee and Conversations (also known as Coffee and Connections) is a popular networking event started by Dallas Public Library. This low stakes, easily implementable “tabling” event can be facilitated by interns in conjunction with library staff as is the case at both New York Public Library and Kansas City Public Library. KCPL “invites patrons experiencing homeless to join Library staff and other patrons for coffee, snacks and conversations on topics related to social inclusion” (Kansas City Public Library). This can also be a suitable setting to invite outside agencies into the library. By showcasing their services and making connections with patrons at such events, community agencies and libraries can seek ways to leverage resources and better meet the needs of underserved populations.
  • Interns assist with Los Angeles Public Library’s The Source, in conjunction with the Department of Homeless Services. The Source provides “a one-stop-shop of resources and services to help homeless Angelenos transition to independent and supported living. Services are also available for eligible low-income residents” (Los Angeles Public Library).
  • Carbondale Public Library Director (and Illinois Librarian of the Year) brought in social work interns to help address the growing number of patrons experiencing homelessness (Esch).

“…librarians are also ad hoc social workers and navigators. They help local people figure out the complexities of life, from navigating the health system to helping those with housing needs. This “go-to” role has influenced library programming and events, with libraries providing advice and connections to health, housing, literacy…” – Cabello & Butler, 2017

Literacy / ESL

  • Former Long Branch Free Public Library (LBFPL) intern David Perez, MSW, helped develop and expand its Fade to Books Barbershop Literacy Program. As a current employee and Social Work & Diversity Services Manager at LBFPL, Perez is the Project Coordinator of Fade to Books.  The program was originally started by Library Director Tonya Garcia.


  • Through conducting a needs assessment of library staff and patrons, Rutgers University intern Kenyetta Clark discovered a gap in services for pre-teens. She subsequently constructed relevant programming at the Newark Public Library for this population.
  • University of Georgia social work interns at the Athens-Clarke County Library are collaborating on an “after-school program that teaches leadership skills to teen girls, including written and oral communication, relationship building, conflict resolution and teamwork. Establishing a peer-mentoring program at the Library will help address some of the issues at-risk young women face” (Hribal).

Ex-offenders or individuals currently incarcerated

  • Social work interns from Fordham and Columbia in New York City utilize space^ at the Brooklyn Public Library to facilitate Osborne Association’s “prison and jail visiting support services” Here, families can speak with family members and loved ones who are currently incarcerated.
  • David Perez of LBFPL further developed the award winning Fresh Start Re-Entry Program.  As the current Social Work & Diversity Services Manager at LBFPL in New Jersey, Perez supervises new MSW interns working with Fresh Start as part of their internship learning goals.

Immigrants and Refugees

  • Mississauga, Ontario’s In-Library Settlement Workers offer “consultation and assistance with settlement and immigration questions” at nine branches throughout their region (City of Mississauga).

Opioid crisis

  • While I’m unaware of interns working directly with this epidemic, it’s feasible students could help library staff craft policies and emergency responses to drug use and medical emergencies on site.

Additional programming


Cabello, M., & Butler, S. M. (2017, March 30). How public libraries help build healthy communities. Retrieved from

City of Mississauga. (2018). In-Library Settlement Workers. Retrieved October 27, 2018, from

Esch, J. (2017, August 1). Carbondale Public Library director named state’s Librarian of the Year. Retrieved November 1, 2018, from

Hribal, S. (2018). Athens-Clarke County Library receives Library Community Catalyst Grant. Retrieved October 30, 2018, from

Kansas City Public Library. (2017, August 10). Library Receives Missouri Humanities Council Award for Community Achievement. Retrieved October 4, 2018, from

Kowalski, C. (2017). The critical role librarians play in the opioid crisis. United States: TED. Retrieved from

Lewis, C. (2017, Aug 10).  [Kansas City] Library Receives Missouri Humanities Council Award for Community Achievement. (2018). Retrieved October 4, 2018, from

Library Journal. (2017, March 13). Tonya Angelique Garcia: Movers & Shakers 2017. Retrieved November 2, 2018, from

Link News. (2014). Library honored for innovative Fresh Start Re-Entry Program. Retrieved from

Long Branch Free Public Library. (2017). Fade to Books Barbershop Literacy Initiative. Retrieved from

Los Angeles Public Library. (2018). The Source. Retrieved October 4, 2018, from

McCorkell, M. (2018, July 16). Social Worker in the Library Success. Retrieved October 30, 2018, from

New Jersey Library Association. (2018). Fresh Start Re-Entry Program @ Long Branch Public Library. I Love NJ Libraries. Retrieved from

New York Public Library. (2018). Coffee & Connections. Retrieved October 24, 2018, from

^Osborne Association. (2018). Programs. Retrieved October 30, 2018, from (Note interns conduct their field placement through Osborne, not Brooklyn Public Library.  The Library provides the physical space for the video conferencing service).

Wootson, C. R., Jr. (2017, June 2). “Drug tourists” keep overdosing at this library. Here’s how employees are saving their lives. The Washington Post. Retrieved from





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