Social Work in Libraries Program Coordinator (ACLA)

 

Social Work in Libraries Program Overview

The Allegheny County Library Association (ACLA) is a system of 46 independent public libraries with more than 70 locations that collaborate and share resources to better serve County residents.

In recent years, the role of libraries in our communities has changed significantly. Today’s library-goers visit for any number of reasons; to use a computer, take a tutoring session, attend a storytime, join a yoga class, or just to be somewhere safe. Library staff are trusted fixtures in their communities and, as such, receive patron questions that go well beyond the typical reference inquiry. Library staff assist people in finding housing, social and mental health services, completing applications online, and finding their closest food bank.

In 2019, ACLA implemented a pilot project connecting students in the Pitt Master of Social Work (MSW) program with ACLA libraries to complete their required field placement. In the Social Work in Libraries Program, students work with libraries to identify and address areas of need specific to the communities they serve. Students provide direct referral services to patrons, hold training for library staff, compile local resource guides, and strengthen library relationships with local service agencies. Throughout, students are overseen by a library site supervisor and a field instructor.

 

Social Work in Libraries Program Coordinator Job Description

The Social Work in Libraries Program Coordinator will oversee all aspects of program development and implementation and will be a significant contributor to the development of a program sustainability plan. We seek to recruit an experienced MSW to lead this initiative in a full-time capacity. The primary focus of the position will be on building the capacity of libraries to support social service around community needs. To accomplish this objective, we will be placing MSW students in libraries by partnering with the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Social Work. The program may ultimately expand to incorporate students from other area schools as well. There may also be opportunities for this person to teach at the School of Social Work in an adjunct capacity.

Specifically, the Program Coordinator will oversee the following activities:

 

Library Site and Student Recruitment (10% effort)

The Coordinator will work with the ACLA Projects and Partnerships Manager to define the program opportunity and identify host library sites.

The Coordinator will work with SSW Field Education Office to disseminate the program announcement and participate in new student information sessions.

The Coordinator will work with libraries to review and rate applicants using a standard evaluation rubric, working closely with the SSW field coordinator and the ACLA Projects and Partnerships Manager to match accepted applicants with field sites.

The Coordinator will work with the SSW to process student acceptance letters/agreements and submit the student stipend request forms to the payroll coordinator. The Coordinator will also send rejection letters as applicable.

 

Field Instruction (25% effort)

The Coordinator will serve as the field instructor, meeting with students for one hour each week to review, discuss and connect course instruction with their hands-on training. It is expected that this role will be conducted as a hybrid of group and individual supervision, requiring one day per week.

The Coordinator will also prepare library site supervisors (directors or senior library program staff) to work with students in day-to-day field activities and assist field site supervisors in providing student field evaluation, as well as incorporate library site supervisors into group field seminars with their students as useful to orientation and networking

The Coordinator will serve as liaison to the Field Education Office for all students within this program. The Coordinator will work with the student to prepare their field learning plan and conduct a review meeting with the library site supervisor for each student once per term and submit the field evaluation forms for grading. Moreover, the Coordinator solves issues and documents decisions. This role is estimated at 10 hours per academic year per student.

 

Library Program Development (55% effort)

Through structured engagement with the community of practice in regional libraries, the Program Coordinator will:

  • Work with the ACLA Projects and Partnerships Manager to develop and grow a community of practice that brings SSWs, social service providers, and library staff together across the County (and eventually, across the region as the program grows).
  • Develop and coordinate supplemental social service outreach activities across ACLA libraries to further engage collaboration between the social work and librarian practitioner communities.
  • Develop and conduct learning and training opportunities (workshops, guest speakers, seminars) to further foster engagement among the students and other library and social work practitioners in the region by promoting a community of practice.
  • Cultivate relationships with other SSW/library programs, and actively participate in the development of a regional learning consortium and facilitate a connection with the national Whole Person Librarianship movement.
  • Facilitate connections with Allegheny County’s Department of Human Services and its network of providers to explore opportunities for County initiatives to inform and be integrated into the work of students in the library environment. Representation from DHS should be included in the community of practice that is developed.
  • Work with ACLA and SSW leadership to identify pathways for ongoing sustainability.
  • Develop and promote career pathways for social workers within library settings.

 

SSW Program Support and Development (10% effort)

The Coordinator may serve as an adjunct instructor teaching seminars or courses and working with the Continuing Education Office on social worker and librarian interprofessional training within the SSW related to the learning objectives and outcomes of the Social Work Library Collaboration.

The Coordinator may also help build education, training, and field learning collaboration between the professional schools of social work and library science toward enhancing a community of practice.

 

Job Details

Requirements:

  • Master’s degree in social work (from a CSWE accredited school of social work)
  • 2+ years of social work experience

Job Type: Full time

Salary: $45,000-$52,000, commensurate with experience

To apply, send a resume and cover letter to acla@einetwork.net.