The Massachusetts Library System and the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners were excited to help the Boston College School of Social Work set up several internships at public libraries this year. In this interview, we’ll hear from Jessica Mawyer, the Social Work Intern at the Waltham Public Library. She will fill us in about services that she provided, resources she used most frequently, and lessons learned.
What services and support did you provide to patrons and staff?
- Resources – Shelters for the unhoused (men and women including domestic violence & families), food banks & pantries, clothing drives, job seeking, etc
- Counseling – Individual, family, couples, substance abuse
- General Help– filing for food assistance (DTA-EBT), low income or disabled housing, disability & SSI, Mass Health, job, and rental applications, etc (No taxes)
What community resources did you use most frequently for referrals?
Most used community resources are DTA EBT food assistance, Mass Health, low-income housing, and community shelters.
What did you like the most about your social work internship at the Waltham Public Library?
Being able to help diverse people for many different reasons and never doing the same thing all day or every week.
What advice would you provide to future social work interns at public libraries?
To keep local resources close by, space out your appointments, and ask your clinical supervisor any questions that may come up.
Anything else you would like to share?
The library system should utilize clinical social work interns at all libraries because there are many people to help as libraries are safe havens for those unhoused.
Interview with Jessica Mawyer, Social Work Intern, Waltham Public Library; MSW Student, Boston College School of Social Work
Interviewed by Michelle Eberle, Consultant, Massachusetts Library System