Library Social Work at ALA

I just wanted to give a plug/shout-out to the session that will be led by some amazing social workers at ALA this year. The content sounds very “whole person” to me!

Compassionate Service: Promoting Dignity for Marginalized Patrons Through a Holistic Approach

Saturday, June 23
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Location: Morial Convention Center, Rm 388-389

ALA Unit/Subunit: PLA
Meeting Type: Program
Cost: Included with full conference registration.
Open/Closed: Open

In the last few years many public libraries have hired social workers to address the needs of customers experiencing life challenges. In this session, library administrators and social work teams from the Denver and San Francisco public libraries will discuss best practices, challenges, and results their libraries have seen by integrating a holistic social service program into their library’s service plan. The holistic approach builds a new team dynamic for library professionals and social workers, combining their skills and working together creating a totally new paradigm for service bridging the two professional worlds of librarianship and social work. Marginalized patrons benefit most when they can receive assistance to navigate the complex social service system in the library environment. When library programs and services are discovered in tandem with a social worker’s connections to community resources, new breakthroughs are realized that neither profession could manage on their own.


  • Tom Fortin

    Chief of Main, San Francisco Public Library
    San Francisco Public Library

  • Leah Esguerra, LMFT

    Social Worker/ Social Service Team Supervisor
    San Francisco Public Library/San Francisco Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing

  • Elissa Hardy, LCSW

    Community Resource Manager
    Denver Public Library

  • Patrick Lloyd, LMSW, LMSW

    Community Resources Coordinator
    Georgetown Public Library

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.