Library professionals and social workers make a meaningful difference in the world every single day. Unlike most degrees, accredited social work programs require on-site experience through a social work internship or practicum, known as a field placement. In the library field, working with social work interns conducting their field placements in public libraries has gained enormous attention and popularity in recent years.
Garnering the vital movement in the intersection of social work and libraries, the New Jersey State Library (NJSL) has developed a pilot program ‘Social Work Informed Library Services in NJ (SWILIBS-NJ) with two goals in mind– 1) to strengthen public libraries’ capacity in providing essential social services for their communities; 2) to promote connection and collaboration between social work and public libraries in New Jersey.
Offered in partnership with Rutgers University School of Social Work, student interns (MSW or BASW) will be selected and placed at participating libraries across the state. Under the supervision of experienced library supervisors, social work interns will help with information and referrals, community events and outreach, programming and other special projects tailored to serve marginalized and underprivileged patrons. Student interns will work 2-3 days/week for a total of 15-22.5 hours/week for two semesters and can work a fixed schedule at the library and can work weekdays, evenings or weekends. This is a paid internship.
NJSL will provide stipends for student interns, and professional development training developed by a team of subject matter experts will be made available for both library supervisors and interns throughout the project period (July 2022 – June 2024).
There is no cost for libraries to participate in this program; however, the number of library sites hosting student interns (up to 10 libraries) will be determined based on the library location and availability of student interns. A library task supervisor (who will oversee the work of a student intern) must be designated and assigned to this project. Additionally, if you become a participant in this program, you will need to agree to Standard Affiliation Agreement with the Rutgers University School of Social Work.
For more information, please visit:
- Rutgers School of Social Work field education and library internship overview
- Rutgers School of Social Work, The Office of Field Education
- SWILIBS-NJ Information Session – Zoom recording December 16, 2022