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Services for Libraries: 

Staff Training Topics: 

Trauma-Informed Service

Person-Centered Approaches


Impact of COVID19 

Welcoming Diversity

Consulting Services: 

Needs Assessment - Is a Social Worker right for our library?

How to help patrons requesting social service assistance.

Placement of social work interns in public libraries.

Supervision for social work interns in the library.

Interested in another training or topic? 

Let's discuss customizing something ideal for your team!

Open Textbook in Library

Social Work in Public Libraries is an emerging field across the country. The face of libraries has shifted past what the traditional definition is. Libraries serve some of our most vulnerable populations. Having social workers in libraries has proven to be beneficial for not only patrons but staff as well. In 2018, I began the role of Social Service Manager at Niles District Library in Niles, MI managing the grant project Social Workers in Rural and Small Libraries (SWIRSL). This experience has afforded me the opportunity to develop best practices for a small, rural library providing social services to patrons. During my time as SSM, I became a member of the Public Library Association’s (PLA) Social Work Task Force Group, a group consisting of social workers working in public libraries across the country. The task force group has provided trainings, webinars, and presentations on various topics including; trauma, person centered approach, and self-care. I am excited to move forward this fall as co-chair of the task force.


“I had the pleasure of working with Tiffany Russell when she served as a mentor in the California State Library’s Mental Health Initiative. She provided a social work perspective, helping library staff understand how to bring a trauma-informed approach to library services, programs, and collaborations. Tiffany was calm and thoughtful and helped to provide a safe virtual environment for learning, support, and sharing as library staff were first struggling to make sense of COVID-19. I’m excited that I will have the opportunity to work with Tiffany again soon, as she helps us develop another learning opportunity for library staff.”

Brenda Hough - Infopeople Instructional Designer

Tiffany was a wonderful resource for my members!  In May, she attended one of our library director zoom meetings and shared ways of dealing with fears about the virus including staff going back to work and eventually working with patrons.  Across this county, the majority of libraries do not have the extra resources to have a staff social worker.  After these past few months, mental health concerns have really become an important focal point not only in social services communities but in all professions.  By addressing the fact that not only will patrons have challenging months ahead, but library staff will as well, makes Tiffany's talk even more important. She encouraged the directors to be prepared for concerns, questions, and issues moving forward with staff and patrons alike. An inspiring moment of her talk came when she encouraged library directors to look at their individual communities and see where partnerships can be made (local food bank, DHHS, local health department, MI Works) to help communities heal and come together for everyone's health and well being.  I know my members appreciated the advice and guidance Tiffany shared with us that morning in May.

Kate Van Auken - White Pine Library Cooperative Director

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