BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Enoch Pratt Free Library is expanding their services.

The organization is teaming up with the University of Maryland School of Social Work to provide vital help to those in need.

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The University of Maryland graduate students will be interning at four different Pratt Library branches to offer counseling and assist with additional resources.

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Combining forces to help enhance the overall well being of our community.

“The library being an information center and our trusty patrons come in and ask us all sorts of questions, and some of the questions we have been getting overlap in the world of social work,” said Will Johnson, library supervisor.

In an effort to address critical issues plaguing Baltimore neighborhoods, the Pratt Library is teaming up with the University of Maryland School of Social Work to provide a full range of services to library patrons.

“Library is a public place where a lot of people go in their free time or when they are looking for resources to use the computers, and it’s a very accepting place,” said graduate student Michelle Steele.

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Eight graduate student social work interns will work alongside a licensed social worker to offer guidance to the community.

“Letting people know where they can find different resources in the community,” said Kimberly Street. “We’ll also be doing some program development. Libraries are sort of like different communities with different needs, so we go in and assess and fill that need.”

Baltimore’s pilot program will offer these invaluable services several days a week at their four participating branches.

“We are here to enhance and use whatever resources that we have to help you have the most positive experiences with resources with whatever you’re going through at the time. We are here to help not judge,” said Rena Wilson, graduate student.

The social worker program operates at the Hamilton, Brooklyn, Pennsylvania Avenue, and Southeast Anchor branches.

The goal of the pilot program is to have a full-time social worker in every library branch.

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