Social workers within Canadian public libraries: A multicase study

dc.contributor.advisorAyala, Jessica
dc.contributor.authorSchweizer, Elizabeth
dc.contributor.committeememberKoltusky, Laura
dc.contributor.committeememberBurns, Victoria F.
dc.contributor.committeememberHewson, Jennifer A.
dc.description.abstractThis study explored the emerging field of social work practice within Canadian public libraries. This is an interdisciplinary area of practice that has been increasing in prevalence across North America over the last decade. Despite the burgeoning movement that has begun to gain attention within public library circles and the popular media, comparatively little research has been published on library social work practice. There is a particular dearth of research in the area from Canadian social work perspectives. A mixed methods multicase study was utilized, consisting of a preliminary online survey distributed across Canada followed by analysis of four cases in which there are library-based social workers: Thunder Bay Public Library (TBPL), Kitchener Public Library (KPL), Mississauga Public Library (MPL), and Edmonton Public Library (EPL). Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 17 participants, along with document review. Analysis was first performed for each individual case, followed by cross-case analysis. Four library social work models used by the urban public libraries were identified: social service agency partnership, local university partnership, municipal partnership, and full-time social work staff. In addition to the models, the major themes identified are grouped into two categories: public library motivations for including social workers within their operations, and the nature of social work practice in these settings. Primary findings indicate that library social work is an emerging distinct area of interdisciplinary practice that shows promise at individual and systems levels in helping to address social exclusion and improve community-based responses to broader social challenges such as homelessness, housing instability, poverty, mental health concerns, and substance misuse. Implications for social work and public library research and practice are provided.en_US
dc.identifier.citationSchweizer, E. (2018). Social workers within Canadian public libraries: A multicase study (Master's thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from doi:10.11575/PRISM/31913en_US
dc.publisher.facultyGraduate Studies
dc.publisher.facultySocial Work
dc.publisher.institutionUniversity of Calgaryen
dc.rightsUniversity of Calgary graduate students retain copyright ownership and moral rights for their thesis. You may use this material in any way that is permitted by the Copyright Act or through licensing that has been assigned to the document. For uses that are not allowable under copyright legislation or licensing, you are required to seek permission.
dc.subjectlibrary social work
dc.subjectcase study
dc.subjectpublic librarianship
dc.subjectcommunity-led libraries
dc.subjectsocial inclusion
dc.subjectinterdisciplinary studies
dc.subject.classificationLibrary Scienceen_US
dc.subject.classificationSocial Worken_US
dc.subject.classificationPublic and Social Welfareen_US
dc.titleSocial workers within Canadian public libraries: A multicase study
dc.typemaster thesis of Calgary of Social Work (MSW)
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