Social Worker In The Library Program Expands To Western Baltimore County
OWINGS MILLS - After the successful launch of the Social Worker in the Library program in 2021, Baltimore County Public Library will be expanding the program to the western part of the county.
BCPL CEO Sonia Alcántara-Antoine says the social worker at the library program gives people access to a trusted resource for addressing a variety of issues.
"Today's library is a safe space and a community connector offering resources and services in addition to the books found on our shelves. As a trusted resource, customers often turn to the library for information and to help solve their problems. The Social Worker in the Library program allows us to provide a greater level of expertise and guidance to get our customers the help they need more quickly and conveniently," Alcántara-Antoine said.
According to BCPL, the Social Worker in the Library program provided assistance more than 800 times to Baltimore County residents last year.
On Monday, Valerie Greisman, a BCPL social worker, started holding regular office hours at the Arbutus, Catonsville, Lansdowne, Pikesville, Randallstown, and Woodlawn branches.
She said libraries already serve as a welcoming, safe space for those seeking help.
"Since my passion is to help people, I am excited about this opportunity and the casework aspect of it. While I was getting my Masters in Philadelphia, I would often meet clients at the library because it was a central location and a welcoming and safe space," Greisman said.
Greisman and her colleagues at other BCPL locations will connect visitors with resources, such as:
- Access to public assistance (childcare subsidies, financial assistance, SNAP benefits, medical help)
- Domestic violence help
- Grief and loss support
- LGBTQIA+ support
- Mental health counseling
- Parenting resources
- Senior resources and aid
- Substance abuse
- Youth services
The social workers' hours can be found on the library's website.