Pilot Program Will Connect Library Patrons to State Services

Delaware state social workers are working in all three counties to help patrons access state services.

Delaware state social workers have begun providing assistance at libraries in all three counties under a pilot program launched by the Delaware Division of Libraries and the Department of Health and Social Services.

Two social workers from the Division of Social Services’ Community Partner Support Unit are now available once per week for three hours at seven libraries across the state.

Social workers can guide patrons through the state’s online benefits application process, assist individuals in applying for food benefits, help applicants gather necessary documents, connect eligible families and individuals with employment and training resources, and connect with other DHSS agencies to answer questions as needed. This onsite assistance is in addition to the help available at the 15 State Service Centers located statewide.

Public libraries are an ideal setting for the delivery of social services. As centers for community engagement and access to technology, people in need of assistance in many cases are already library patrons.

“This partnership enables libraries to leverage DHSS expertise in assisting library patrons with meeting their needs,” said Deputy Secretary of State Dr. Courtney Stewart. “Our libraries have evolved into force-multipliers for community outreach, and adding social services to the compliment of resources available through our libraries is a perfect fit.”

“Every day, in all Delaware public libraries, people come through the doors seeking assistance on a variety of topics, including social services,” said State Librarian Dr. Annie Norman. “This pilot project reflects the reality that critical needs have become more pronounced.”

“Connecting people to services as easily and efficiently as possible is what we aim to do every day, and this program is a great example of that,” said Ray Fitzgerald, director of DHSS’ Division of Social Services. “Library patrons will receive face-to-face contact with a social worker who can help them on the spot and, as needed, connect them to other beneficial services and programs. We hope this will ease the process for those seeking services while freeing library staff to concentrate on patrons’ other needs.”

Currently, more than 150 agencies and nonprofits are collaborating with Delaware libraries to provide services to patrons across the state.

“Through Delaware Partners, our goal is to extend the reach and effectiveness of partner capabilities and resources and foster collaboration,” said Dr. Norman, “We’re delighted to add the specialized expertise of DHSS social workers in our libraries.”

The schedule for social workers in Delaware libraries is as follows:

Specialists Schedule
New Castle County:

Appoquinimink Public Library
204 E Main Street, Middletown
Tuesdays: 2:00pm – 4:00pm

Bear Public Library
101 Governor’s Place, Bear
Mondays: 11:00am – 3:00pm
Thursdays: 10:00am-noon
Every other Saturday:

Brandywine-Hundred Library
1300 Foulk Road, Wilmington
Wednesdays: 10:00am – Noon

Elsmere Public Library
30 Spruce Ave, Wilmington
Mondays: 10:00am- 5:00pm
Tuesdays: 3:00pm – 5:00pm

Kirkwood Public Library
6000 Kirkwood Hwy, Wilmington
Thursdays: 2:30pm – 4:30pm

Newark Free Library
750 Library Ave., Newark
Tuesdays: 10:00am – 12:00pm
Fridays: 11:00am – 4:00pm

Rt. 9 Library
3022 New Castle Ave., New Castle
Tuesdays: 10:00am – 4:00pm
Wednesdays: 10:00am – 4:30pm

Wilmington Public Library
10 East 10th Street, Wilmington
Tuesdays: 9:00am – 4:00pm
Every 1st & 3rd Wednesday:
9:15am -11:15am

Woodlawn Public Library
2020 W. Ninth St., Wilmington
Tuesdays: 10:00am – 4:30pm
Wednesdays: 2:30pm – 4:30pm

Kent County:

Dover Public Library
35 Loockerman Plaza, Dover
1st & 3rd Tuesdays:
10:00am – 12:00pm

Harrington Public Library
110 E Center Street, Harrington
1st & 3rd Mondays:
10:00am – 12:00pm

Milford Public Library
11 S E Front Street, Milford
Tuesdays & Thursdays: 12:00pm – 5:00pm
Wednesdays: 10:00am – 5:00pm

Sussex County:

Georgetown Public Library
123 West Pine Street, Georgetown
Mondays: 10:00am – 4:00pm
Tuesdays: 10:00am – 3:00pm

Laurel Public Library
101 East 4th Street, Laurel
Tuesdays & Wednesdays:
10:00am – 4:00pm

Lewes Public Library
111 Adams Avenue, Lewes
Tuesdays & Wednesdays:
11:00am – 4:00pm

Milton Public Library
121 Union Street, Milton
Tuesdays: 10:30am – 3:00pm
Wednesdays: 10:00am -3:00pm

Seaford Public Library
600 N. Market Street Ext., Seaford
Wednesday 10:30am-3:00pm

Selbyville Public Library
11 Main & McCabe Streets, Selbyville
Currently Hours Not Available

For more information:

Contact your participating public library or make an appointment online!

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