Imagine the Possibilities

Half Day Preconference

A Social Worker Walks Into a Library: Bringing Social Work Services into Your Public Library

Tuesday, March 20, 2018, 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Pennsylvania Convention Center, 204 ABC

Over the last several years, many public libraries have hired social workers to address the needs of customers experiencing life challenges. In this session, four social workers with a combined thirteen years experience working in public libraries will discuss best practices, challenges, and how their libraries have integrated a social service program into their systems. Presenters will work with participants to develop a blueprint for how they can bring social work into their library system.

At the end of this session, participants will:

1: Understand the best practices for social work/services in a public library 2: Identify community resources and agencies which their library can utilize and partner with in developing a library social service program 3: Develop their own blueprint to take back to their system to begin bringing social work to their library or library system

The session organizer(s) identified this session as appropriate for:
Level 3: People with extensive knowledge, who want to learn about new developments.

Tags: Preconference, Hot Topics, Partnerships and Collaboration, Social Change, Transforming Libraries


Jean Badalamenti, MSW, Health & Human Services Assistant Manager
DC Public Library , Washington , DC

Jean Badalamenti, MSW, is DC Public Library's Health and Human Services Ass't Manager. Since 2014, Jean has been developing programs, creating partnerships, and training DCPL staff to support customers experiencing homelessness. Jean also manages DCPL's library at the DC jail in partnership with the DC Department of Corrections. Jean has a Master's Degree in Social Work from Howard University, and has worked in health and human services in DC for over 25 years.

Leah Esguerra, LMFT, Social Service Team Supervisor
San Francisco Public Library , San Francisco, CA 94102 , CA

Leah Esguerra is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. As the nation?s first full-time library social worker with San Francisco Public Library, Leah supervises the SFPL Social Service Team, provides outreach to patrons and conducts staff training. Her outreach team consists of 7 Health and Safety Associates with personal experience with homelessness. The library social service team under Leah?s supervision is a national model for libraries around the country seeking to provide social services.

Elissa Hardy, LCSW, Community Resource Manager
Denver Public Library , Denver , CO

Elissa Hardy, LCSW is the Community Resource Manager at Denver Public Library and oversees the social work department which includes one other social worker and 4 peer navigators. She provides training to library staff, collaborates with community partners and the team supports customers experiencing life challenges. She also teaches courses on Policy, Mental Health, Substance Use, Trauma and Recovery at the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver.

Patrick Lloyd, LMSW, Community Resources Coordinator
Georgetown Public Library , Georgetown , TX

The first social worker ever hired by the City of Georgetown, Texas, Patrick Lloyd, LMSW is the Community Resources Coordinator at the Georgetown Public Library. Working within a suburban community, Patrick?s work is holistic in nature and includes assessment and referral of patrons with diverse needs, identification of local resource gaps, advocating for expansion of social service capacity within the city, and serving as a liaison between city staff and local nonprofit agencies


Registration for this preconference is now closed, but limited space may be available onsite.

For questions about…

Cancellation Policy

The PLA 2018 Conference is offered on a cost-recovery basis. PLA reserves the right to cancel all or any part of this event if there is insufficient registration or for other reasons. Neither ALA nor PLA is responsible for cancellation charges assessed by the airlines or travel agencies, or other losses incurred due to the cancellation of the workshops. All information listed on this website is subject to change.

Attendee Cancellation Policy

Written cancellations, requests for refunds, and/or changes will be accepted until February 23, 2018, and are subject to a $30 handling fee. Refunds will be processed after April 23, 2018. According to PLA policy, all meal events require preregistration. The above cancellation/change information also applies to all preconferences, meal events, and tours. No meal tickets will be sold onsite.

Exhibitor Cancellation Policy

All booth space cancellation requests must be received in writing by Show Management (Corcoran Expositions). If space is reduced, the net reduction of space will be treated as a cancellation of that space. If Show Management receives a written request for cancellation of space on or before October 31, 2017, the exhibitor will be eligible for a refund less the nonrefundable deposit of $950 per 100 square feet of exhibit space. For cancellations received after October 31, 2017, exhibitors are liable for 100% of the cost of space.


Print and electronic advertising opportunities are available to reach PLA members and attendees both before and during the conference.


Interested in exhibiting at PLA 2018? Contact Carly DiVito, Corcoran Expositions, at 312-541-0567 or


Contact Macey Morales, Deputy Director, ALA Public Awareness Office, 312-280-4393 or Please review our conference media policy.


ALA and PLA membership is managed by the ALA Membership & Customer Service (MACS) unit. You can join or renew/rejoin/add to your membership using ALA’s secure online form; or you can print and fill out a membership form and fax or mail it in; or call 800-545-2433 and press 5. Direct your membership questions to MACS at or 800-545-2433 and press 5. MACS representatives are available Monday–Friday, 8:30 AM–4:30 PM Central.

Registration & Housing

Problems or questions regarding registration or housing? Contact Experient at or 800-424-5249 (U.S. and Canada)/847-996-5829 (all other countries). Experient representatives are available Monday–Friday, 9:00 AM–6:00 PM Eastern.


To discuss PLA 2018 sponsorship opportunities, contact Corcoran Expositions, Mary Michalik at 312-265-9650,; or Matt McLaughlin at 312-265-9655,

Thank You PLA 2018 Conference Sponsors!

Other Questions

Many commonly asked questions are answered in our FAQ. If you don’t find the information you’re looking for, please contact PLA at 800-545-2433 x5PLA (x5752) or Or the PLA Staff directory may help you find just the right person to ask.

PLA 2016 Archive

Looking for handouts and other information from the PLA 2016 Conference, which took place April 5–9, 2016 in Denver, CO? The PLA 2016 Conference website has been archived at

View the list of past PLA Conferences from 1983 to present.