This research with Dr. Elizabeth A. Wahler et al. examines the self-identified psychosocial needs of library patrons at a large urban branch in the Midwest. It also looks at the needs of 194 patrons who sought assistance from social work students conducting their field placements at this particular branch.
Wahler, E. A., Provence, M. A., Johnson, S. C., Helling, J., & Williams, M. (2021). Library patrons’ psychosocial needs: Perceptions of need and reasons for accessing social work services. Social Work, 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1093/sw/swab032
Beth Wahler, a faculty member of the Indiana University School of Social Work, has conducted needs assessments with a number of public libraries around the U.S. She has also partnered with social work programs at multiple universities to provide assistance to their students conducting needs assessments as part of their practicum. Dr. Wahler is willing to share the staff and patron surveys she has used with other schools and libraries as needed. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more info about her work, please see Wahler et al. (2019) and Provence et al. (2020).
Wahler, E. A.,Provence, M. A., Helling, J., & Williams, M. A. (2019). The changing role of libraries: How social workers can help. Families in Society, 101(1), 34-43. https://doi.org/10.1177/1044389419850707
Provence, M. A., Wahler, E. A.,Helling, J., & Williams, M. A. (2020). Self-reported psychosocial needs of public library patrons: Comparisons based on housing status. Public Library Quarterly. https://doi.org/10.1080/01616846.2020.1730738
Even during the current pandemic, social work library interns continue to provide services remotely to patrons in need. View links below learn about the work students are doing, such as providing information on employment, ways to cope with stress and anxiety, and offering emotional support to patrons:
The aim of this site is to raise awareness about social work student/public library partnerships currently taking place throughout North America and the need for such collaborations to increase in order to better meet the needs of library patrons.
If you know of an existing collaboration between schools of social work and public libraries, or you would like your own school or library featured here, please contact me.
“Having the services of a social work student available to our patrons is an example of how libraries are changing and expanding services” – Cindy Mangel, Bound Brook Library branch manager (Somerset County, NJ).