Sarah Brown ’08 ’10M, LCSW, assistant director of field education in the School of Social Work, was invited by the University of St. Francis to present at a library social work internship event on Oct. 8. Brown was joined at the event by library social worker and School of Social Work alumnus David Perez ’17M.
“Library social work is a place where students can experience social work from the micro, mezzo, and macro level,” Brown said. “It provides students with a wonderful opportunity to address local concerns while working with individuals and communities,” she said.
According to Brown, library social work continues to be on the cutting edge of social work practice. Monmouth University’s School of Social Work was one of the first to start an internship program within a public library setting. Since its inception in 2016, the Long Branch Public Library has hosted 12 graduate and undergraduate social work student interns.
The partnership between Monmouth’s School of Social Work and the Long Branch Library provides city leaders with statistics to demonstrate the importance of social workers being positioned within the library. Brown said the data led to the Perez being hired as one of the nation’s first library social workers.
During the event, Brown provided tips on how other schools of social work could start similar partnerships with local libraries as well as reasons for why these placement opportunities are so important.
To learn more about Perez and how he is shaping library social work, read a profile published in the summer 2017 issue of Monmouth magazine, or listen to this NPR interview from 2019.