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Beginning in January, the Forest Park Public Library will begin hosting two interns from the Loyola University Chicago School of Social Work.

“The public library is a unique place because everyone is welcome no matter what their economic status, gender, race, age, sexual orientation, or living status ,” said Library Director Pilar Shaker. “More and more, we see people facing challenges including mental health issues, drug problems, and homelessness. By adding social work interns, we are evolving our services to better support our community.”

Social workers are being added as library staff members at libraries around the country including at the Addison Public Library, Evanston Public Library, and Oak Park Public Library.

“We are a small library and can’t afford to take on a staff social worker at this time,” said Shaker. “By working with the Loyola University’s School of Social Work as an internship site, we are able to get some of the assistance we need as well as provide a great learning opportunity to two future social workers without exhausting our budget or limiting other services to patrons.”

Master’s Degree students Raqueal Pullums and Grace Kilgore will be interning 16 hours a week each for eight months. During that time, they will be offering services to library patrons as well as working with the staff. Services offered will not be diagnostic or medical. Social work interns will be providing support services and linking those in need with resources and aid services. The interns will also provide staff support and training to broaden the scope of their service capabilities for the future.

More information on social work services will be available soon. If you have questions, please email us at askus@fppl.org.