A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online

Social Workers in Public Libraries

black and white photo of a library orange banner in upper left reads 'social work in public libraries'

Supporting Autonomy while Setting Clear Boundaries

As library social workers, we are often asked how to address behaviors in the public library setting. Sometimes this is framed in the question, “How do we address homelessness (insert other social issues) in our libraries?” Despite the fact that people would like an easy answer to that question, there isn’t one, because wrapped up in the question itself are human beings — individuals, people with personal histories they’ve brought to the place they are now, inside your public library.