Call for Papers – JALIA Special Issue 2023

Social Work in Libraries

NOW CLOSED – We are working with submissions. Many thanks to all those who contributed

Call for Papers to the Journal of the Australian Library and Information Association (JALIA).

We invite submissions to a special issue of the Journal of the Australian Library and Information Association (JALIA) to be published in December 2023, focusing on delivering social work services in libraries. The issue will bring together researchers and practitioners interested in the interdisciplinary approach and its benefit to both library users and staff. Although the collaboration of the two professions is relatively new to Australia (Garner, Mitchell, Bell, Lockwood & Wardle, 2021), it is an established practice in other countries such as the United States (Baum, Gross, Latham, Crabtree & Randolph, 2022; Ogden & Williams, 2022) and Canada (Schweizer, 2018). The work placement of social work students supports libraries (Wahler, Ressler, Johnson, Rortvedt, Saecker, Helling, Williams & Hoover, 2022) and the training of library staff in social work-related skills. Despite the positive impact of the inclusion of social workers in library spaces, challenges exist in the relationship between the professions. Such challenges include a lack of clear boundaries between the responsibilities of the staff, low levels of understanding within each discipline of the work of the other, and a reluctance of some library staff to undertake ‘social work’ after receiving training from a social worker on staff.

Through input from Australian and international library and social work practitioners and researchers, this special issue seeks to stimulate discussion on how social work practice is being delivered in all types of libraries, the benefits and challenges of the two professions working together, and the skills and knowledge required by both disciplines to optimise the relationship between the two.

Below are some suggested topics for submissions:

  1. Existing social work and related practices in all types of libraries
  2. Library staff experiences of working with social workers
  3. Social worker experiences of working in libraries
  4. Social work student placements in libraries
  5. User experiences of social work practice in libraries
  6. Benefits and challenges of collaboration between the professions
  7. Training the professions for a future together

The Journal

JALIA is the official journal of the Australian Library and Information Association and is published by Taylor and Francis. Instructions for authors and a link to the journal’s submission system are available from the JALIA’s web pages at: JALIA is a Q2 journal with a Scopus CiteScore of 1.8 and a Clarivate SSCI Impact Factor of 1.055. Accepted papers are published online once they have completed the review and proofing process and then assigned to the correct issue once the complete issue is ready for publication.

JALIA accepts a range of paper types, including peer-reviewed research, research-in-practice papers and editorially reviewed information-in-practice papers. Instructions for authors briefly explaining the different paper types are available: