As socioeconomically-disadvantaged people become a core user base for libraries, some libraries have collaborated with non-library workers to connect their user communities with beneficial social services, which ties in with librarianship’s values of promoting social justice and providing for the common good. As public libraries earn attention and kudos for connecting their communities to social services, the question arises as to the role of the academic library in connecting our campus community with resources on services for societal needs. Working with existing campus and community organizations can create many positive networks for our library users, our institutions and our larger communities. Focusing on socioeconomic issues, this article will discuss the history of the trend to connect libraries and their user communities with social service providers and analysis from the perspective of librarianship and social service professionals. It will then will present a rationale for working within our academic communities in this way, and explore existing programs connecting academic library users with social services as well as present some low-barrier entry points for interested libraries. The potential exists for academic libraries to build strong collaborations that will boost retention and completion for students, as well as promote social justice and the common good. This article is based on presentations and papers delivered at IFLA RISS 2015, CAPAL 2016 and ALA 2016, some versions of which were previously published online.
Hines, Samantha G.
"Connecting Individuals with Social Services: The Academic Library's Role,"
Collaborative Librarianship: Vol. 9:
2, Article 8.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.du.edu/collaborativelibrarianship/vol9/iss2/8