BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Enoch Pratt Free Library is partnering up with the University of Maryland School of Social Work in an effort to bring social workers to their facilities.

It’s part of the Social Worker in the Library program to Baltimore. The initiative brings graduate student social work interns to several library branches to help customers address issues such as poverty, addiction, and homelessness.

Dean of the University of Maryland School of Social Work Richard Barth, PhD, is excited for the program and the opportunity it provides the students and the community. “When two Baltimore anchor institutions combine forces, great ideas can become powerful programs.  We are delighted to provide expertise and direct services to assist the many library visitors who have social and behavioral health challenges that can be addressed with effective support.”

The pilot program will start this fall in the Hamilton, Brooklyn, and Pennsylvania Avenue branches. It will also start in the Southeast Anchor Library. Two social work interns will be in these libraries at least two days a week providing one-on-one counseling to customers.

According to our media partners at The Baltimore Sun, The Enoch Pratt received $136,000 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and $15,000 from the PNC Foundation as a way to begin the program. Part of the money is expected to be used to hire a full-time social worker next year.

More details of the program will be announced Wednesday morning at 10 at City Hall.

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