Breaking Barriers to Employment: Embedding Legal Services in Public Libraries
Saturday, March 24, 2018, 10:45 AM - 11:45 AM
Pennsylvania Convention Center, 107 AB
Public libraries have invested in job seeker programs for years, yet many patrons struggle to gain employment. Legal barriers such as criminal records often thwart the ability of job seekers to move from training to employment. The DC Public Library and Neighborhood Legal Services Program partner to bring free legal services to patrons of library jobseeker clinics. This session will cover how the partnership works, outcomes, and ideas for replicating the program in other locations.
At the end of this session, participants will:
1: Have a broader understanding of the potential legal barriers to employment 2: Understand how the partnership functions, how it benefits high-need job seekers, and how it supports the mission of both partners 3: Gain an understanding of what types of organizations libraries could connect with to provide similar services
The session organizer(s) identified this session as appropriate for:
Level 1: People with no previous knowledge of the topic.
This session will have: Medium interaction (example: single speaker/panel with questions or discussion throughout)
Tags: Serving Adults, Adult Services, Civic Engagement, Inclusion, Partnerships and Collaboration, Programming/Services
Meaghan O'Connor, Assistant Director
District of Columbia Public Library , Washington , DC
Meaghan provides strategic oversight for library programming and partnerships across all 26 DCPL locations. This ranges from launching library service inside the DC Jail to implementing Books from Birth, an initiative to provide all District children under 5 a free book a month. Prior to joining DCPL, Meaghan was a Senior Program Officer at IREX, where she was responsible for program strategy and management for Gates Foundation-funded Global Libraries programs in Moldova, Romania, and Ukraine.
Maya Sheppard, Managing Attorney, Barriers to Employment Project
Neighborhood Legal Services Program , Washington , DC
Maya Sheppard is the managing attorney for the Barriers to Employment project at Neighborhood Legal Services Program (NLSP). Prior to joining NLSP, she worked as a public defender representing both youth and adult clients in Knoxville, Tenn. At NLSP, she represents clients who are facing legal barriers to employment such as criminal records, problems with background checks, wrongful placement on the DC Child Protection Register and discrimination.
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.