Social Services in Your Library!

Libraries are among the few public spaces that feel safe and welcoming to everyone in our communities. To meet this challenge we have much to learn from social workers, who are trained to approach their clients with empathy while keeping professional boundaries.

Public Libraries in the United States are visited daily by vast numbers of people
experiencing unmet psychosocial needs including poverty, homelessness, immigration concerns,
mental health, substance abuse, and health problems.
The Journal of Social Services 2020, Vol 101(1) 34-43


Dowd, R. (2013, May 20). A Librarian’s Guide to Homelessness

Sanderbeck, A. (2018, February 7). Dealing with Angry Customer Behaviors

Smith, P. S. (2013, December 16). What to Expect From Libraries in the 21st Century

Bowden, M. (2013, October 27). YouTube. The Importance of Being Inauthentic

Top Think. (2020, January 1).YouTube. 8 Ways to Read Someone’s Body Language

OETA. (2017, May 5). Homeless in Oklahoma [Video]. YouTube.

Cotner, C. (2017, May 19). Tulsa Homelessness Documentary [Video]. YouTube.

Invisible People. (2017, June 9). Kelly Is Homeless, Yet You’d Never Know It Unless She Told You [Video]. YouTube.

DW Documentary. (2019, November 27). How Poor People Survive in the USA [Video]. YouTube.




WebJunction. (2020, March 31). Call to Action: Public Libraries and the Opioid Crisis

WebJunction. (2019, December 17). Community Health Challenges: Training, Language and Programming for Libraries

WebJunction. (2020, April 29). Social Work Students and Public Library Partnerships



Schools of Social Work

University of Oklahoma - Tulsa, MSW and BSW

University of Oklahoma - Norman, MSW and BSW

Northeastern State University - Tahlequah, BSW and very new MSW program

Northeastern State University - Broken Arrow

Northwestern State University - Alva, BSW

East Central State University - Ada, BSW

Oral Roberts University - Tulsa, BSW



Baer, D. (2014, November 14). 17 Tactics for Reading People's Body Language. Business Insider.

Cherry, K. (2017). Understanding Body Language and Facial Expressions.

Giving Compass. (2019, May 1). How Do People Become Homeless?

Housing and Urban Development. 2019 Annual Homeless Assessment Report [AHRA] to Congress.

Invisible People. (2019, October 28). How Homeless People Become Homeless.

McGovern, M. (2018, January 11). 23 of the Best Things to Say to an Angry Customer. Forbes.

Mehrmann, J. (2019, June 4). 10 Powerful Steps to Defuse Angry Customers. Business Know-How.

Mental Health America. Quick Facts and Statistics About Mental Health.

National Alliance on Mental Illness. Mental Health By The Numbers.

National Coalition for the Homeless. Homelessness in America.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Data and Dissemination.





Social Services In Libraries PowerPoint