TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — The Baltimore County Public Library is adding a full-time social worker to its staff as part of an effort to better meet the community’s needs.

Starting on Oct. 1, the social worker will be available to visitors in need for one-on-one advice free of charge, as well as to put them in touch with a wide range of resources depending on their situation.

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This social worker will keep office hours at six of the library’s 19 branches including the Essex, North Point, Perry Hall, Rosedale, Sollers Point and White Marsh locations.

Syeira Anthony’s goal is to form relationships with county residents who need help, whether that means getting access to public assistance or mental health counseling.

“My vision as the first social worker at Baltimore County Public Library is to erase some of the stigma associated with seeking help,” Anthony said. “Due to the welcoming nature of the library, it is the perfect place for someone in my profession to help people in the community feel connected and empowered.”

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Below are some of the resources Anthony will be able to assist residents with:

  • Access to public assistance
  • Domestic violence help
  • Grief and loss support
  • LGBTQIA+ support
  • Mental health counseling
  • Parenting resources
  • Senior resources and aid
  • Substance abuse
  • Youth services

The hire of a full-time social worker was made possible through the support of the Osprey Foundation of Towson. Over the next two years, the goal is to expand the program to hire two more full-time social workers who will be available to assist visitors in other parts of Baltimore County.

“We constantly strive to meet the needs of the community,” Baltimore County Public Library Director Sonia Alcántara-Antoine said. “Employing a full-time social worker in the library is yet another way to connect the county’s most vulnerable with critical–and possibly life-saving–resources.”

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Residents who need assistance can either visit with Anthony at one of the above branches during her office hours. They can also schedule an appointment in advance via email or by calling 443-862-9348.