Whole Person Librarianship: A Social Work Approach to Patron Services

Front Cover

Collaboration between libraries and social workers is an exploding trend that will continue to be relevant to the future of public and academic libraries. Whole Person Librarianship incorporates practical examples with insights from librarians and social workers. The result is a new vision of library services.

The authors provide multiple examples of how public and academic librarians are connecting their patrons with social services. They explore skills and techniques librarians can learn from social workers, such as how to set healthy boundaries and work with patrons experiencing homelessness; they also offer ideas for how librarians can self-educate on these topics.

The book additionally provides insights for social work partners on how they can benefit from working with librarians. While librarians and social workers share social justice motivations, their methods are complementary and yet still distinct—librarians do not have to become social workers. Librarian readers will come away with many practical ideas for collaboration as well as the ability to explain why collaboration with social workers is important for the future of librarianship.

 

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Contents

Introduction Sister Professions
1
Chapter 1 Relationships Are the New Reference Collection
11
Chapter 2 Partners in the Library
31
Living the Dream in the Library
49
Chapter 4 FullTime Library Social Workers
65
Chapter 5 Advocating for Change
97
Chapter 6 Sustainable Practice
115
Conclusion Future Directions
129
Community Needs Assessment
137
Learning Contract Template
143
Sample Intake Form
151
Sample Staff Survey
153
Reflective Practice Worksheet
157
References
159
Index
163
Copyright

PIE Chart Worksheet
135

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About the author (2019)

Sara K. Zettervall, MLIS, MFA, is founding consultant and trainer at Whole Person Librarianship. She instructs library staff across the nation and world on applying social work concepts to improve library service.

Mary C. Nienow, PhD, is assistant professor and BSW program director at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN.

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