Social Worker, Jersey City Free Public Library, Five Corners Branch, Jersey City

Job Title: Social Worker (1 Vacancy)
Location: Five Corners Branch
Full-Time/Part-Time: Full-Time
Workweek: 35 hours/week. Schedule varies depending on need. May be required to work evenings and weekends as needed.*Please note, this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required for the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities, may change at any time with or without notice.

About Jersey City and the Jersey City Free Public Library (JCFPL) At JCFPL we are growing to serve the increased needs of our community! Jersey City, NJ is the most diverse community in the U.S. (See: It is also the largest city in Hudson County, NJ and likely, with the next U.S. Census, to be the largest city in the State of New Jersey with a population nearing 300,000. The JCFPL is the largest municipal library in the State of New Jersey with 10 locations and a bookmobile. Our staff of nearly 140 provides services in a wide range of languages including English, Spanish, Hindi, Gujarati, Arabic and Tagalog, among others.

About the Position: As part of the Adults Services Division and reporting to the Manager of the Five Corners Branch, the individual in this role is responsible for providing assistance to individuals, families, and the community to enhance their individual and collective well-being through outreach, service and connection to resources. The primary location for the position would be the Library’s Five Corners Branch, but would require time at other locations. Public interaction sometimes involves working with people who present mental, emotional, or physical challenges, or those for whom English is not the first language. This includes but is not limited to: working with JCFPL staff, area social service agencies, City of Jersey City social services staff and other city departments, and members of the community to address the health and wellness needs of at-risk library patrons; working directly with patrons experiencing mental health challenges, substance use disorders, housing instability, and other exclusion issues; assessing their needs and providing linkage to appropriate services and resources in the community; provide training to JCFPL staff working with challenging populations on topics such as boundary setting, de-escalation techniques, and self-care; creating related virtual programming.

The ideal candidate will have three years’ experience in social work, public health, mental health, behavioral health, health information/education, or related field; the ability to successfully synthesize and communicate information related to public health or related social issues and concerns; knowledge of the issues surrounding housing instability, substance use disorder, mental illness, domestic abuse/violence; strong service orientation, professional boundaries and ethics, calm demeanor; excellent communication skills to provide a high level of positive regard and assistance to a diverse public who may be experiencing challenges; an understanding of the role of libraries and librarians in expanding community access to resources and collections; the ability to perform both independently and as a team member; sufficient physical stamina and general health to perform tasks as noted above.

Specific Job Duties: The essential functions or duties listed below are intended only as an illustration of the various types of work that may be performed. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if work is similar, related or a logical assignment to the position.

OUTREACH - Develops a network of local agencies that provides for those in need and accepts referrals; represents the Library at community provider meetings and partners with these agencies to improve coordination of care for these individuals.

EVALUATION OF NEEDS - Provides individuals in need in the Library with information, support, and referrals to local organizations for basic needs such as income, shelter, food, clothing, transportation, legal services, or for medical issues, mental health or substance use treatment, following the highest ethical, professional standards. Exercise excellent judgement and a high degree of discretion in assessing situations and determining appropriate intervention measures.

PATRON SUPPORT - Collaborates with Library staff to address most severe situations and to provide feedback to better handle challenging behaviors and assistance in most severe cases. Provide the tools to help individuals build strong, healthy and informed lives.

STAFF SUPPORT- Provides on-going staff training, both formal and informal, to better understand at-risk behaviors and improve self-care and safety. Collaborating/consulting on library programming to enhance community wellness. Advises leadership on emerging trends and issues in the field and areas for improvement in existing best practices.

PROGRAMMING - Design, develop, and implement innovative programs and services related to issue of individual and community wellness; promote technological skills and/or broaden the impact of related social and community resources and services.

OTHER - Perform all other reasonable duties as assigned by Supervisor.

Required Education: Possession of a Master’s Degree in Social Work.

Required Experience: Two (2) years of experience in providing direct services to economically disadvantaged residents.

Essential Skills: Ability to keep informed of current theories, objectives, principles, and techniques of librarianship: and an enthusiasm for adapting new technologies, library trends and innovations. Ability to identify, customize, create and present innovative programs and services and integrate new technologies into library service. Ability to provide instruction and technical expertise to professional, paraprofessional and nonprofessional staff.

Preferred Skills: Fluency in a language other than English, especially one or more of those spoken by a substantial portion of Jersey City’s population, including Spanish, Arabic, Hindi, Gujarati, or Tagalog. Knowledge of Jersey City’s population, geography, and/or local government. Experience and facility in public speaking and meeting facilitation. Desire to work in fast-paced urban environment a plus. This is a Civil Service Job and you must eventually pass and qualify for the applicable Civil Service title.

To apply for this job with the Jersey City Free Public Library, please email your resume as a PDF attachment and note the position applying for in the subject line to [email protected] Please note that this role is subject to the residency requirements set forth by the NJ first Act.

MLS or Library School Required:

Salary Meets NJLA Minimum:
Not Applicable (No MLS Required)

Job Focus:
Public/Adult Service