Are You Going to PLA? Learn from Library Social Workers at Preconference

This isn’t something I’m involved in, but I wanted to promote it because it’s a great opportunity! I’m copying this directly from the PLA Conference website.


A Social Worker Walks Into a Library: Bringing Social Work Services into Your Public Library

Tuesday, March 20, 2018, 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Over the last several years, many public libraries have hired social workers to address the needs of customers experiencing life challenges. In this session, four social workers with a combined thirteen years experience working in public libraries will discuss best practices, challenges, and how their libraries have integrated a social service program into their systems. Presenters will work with participants to develop a blueprint for how they can bring social work into their library system.

At the end of this session, participants will:

1: Understand the best practices for social work/services in a public library 2: Identify community resources and agencies which their library can utilize and partner with in developing a library social service program 3: Develop their own blueprint to take back to their system to begin bringing social work to their library or library system

The session organizer(s) identified this session as appropriate for:
Level 3: People with extensive knowledge, who want to learn about new developments.

Tags: Preconference, Hot Topics, Partnerships and Collaboration, Social Change, Transforming Libraries


Jean Badalamenti, MSW, Health & Human Services Assistant Manager
DC Public Library , Washington , DC

Jean Badalamenti, MSW, is DC Public Library’s Health and Human Services Ass’t Manager. Since 2014, Jean has been developing programs, creating partnerships, and training DCPL staff to support customers experiencing homelessness. Jean also manages DCPL’s library at the DC jail in partnership with the DC Department of Corrections. Jean has a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Howard University, and has worked in health and human services in DC for over 25 years.

Leah Esguerra, LMFT, Social Service Team Supervisor
San Francisco Public Library , San Francisco, CA 94102 , CA

Leah Esguerra is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. As the nation?s first full-time library social worker with San Francisco Public Library, Leah supervises the SFPL Social Service Team, provides outreach to patrons and conducts staff training. Her outreach team consists of 7 Health and Safety Associates with personal experience with homelessness. The library social service team under Leah?s supervision is a national model for libraries around the country seeking to provide social services.

Elissa Hardy, LCSW, Community Resource Manager
Denver Public Library , Denver , CO

Elissa Hardy, LCSW is the Community Resource Manager at Denver Public Library and oversees the social work department which includes one other social worker and 4 peer navigators. She provides training to library staff, collaborates with community partners and the team supports customers experiencing life challenges. She also teaches courses on Policy, Mental Health, Substance Use, Trauma and Recovery at the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver.

Patrick Lloyd, LMSW, Community Resources Coordinator
Georgetown Public Library , Georgetown , TX

The first social worker ever hired by the City of Georgetown, Texas, Patrick Lloyd, LMSW is the Community Resources Coordinator at the Georgetown Public Library. Working within a suburban community, Patrick?s work is holistic in nature and includes assessment and referral of patrons with diverse needs, identification of local resource gaps, advocating for expansion of social service capacity within the city, and serving as a liaison between city staff and local nonprofit agencies


This preconference requires a separate registration.
$195 PLA/PaLA Personal Members, $250 ALA Personal Members, $305 Nonmembers

It’s not too late to register for this preconference even if you’ve already registered for the conference. Just log in to your existing registration, or contact Experient at or 800-424-5249 (U.S. and Canada)/847-996-5829 (all other countries), to add additional events. Experient representatives are available Monday–Friday, 9:00 AM–6:00 PM Eastern.


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