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Melbourne’s City Library becomes first Australian library to hire social worker

Melbourne City Council has hired a full-time social worker for its libraries, as part of an Australian-first program to provide support services to people experiencing homelessness, reports Government News.

The social worker will be based at the City Library and will help connect visitors with external support services such as housing, mental health and domestic violence services, as well as help with library queries.

Staff at the council’s six libraries will also receive training and support on issues facing the city’s disadvantaged.

Councillor Beverley Pinder, chair of the People City portfolio, said that in addition to assisting the homeless, the social worker will also support other vulnerable library users with complex needs. ‘Whether sleeping rough, in a rooming house, couch surfing or in unstable accommodation—when you don’t have your own private space, you turn to places that you know are safe and comfortable,’ said Pinder.

The move follows similiar appointments at libraries in the United States, and is in response to a growing number of homeless people attending Melbourne’s libraries.


Category: Library news