Emma Clark Library and Stony Brook University’s School of Social Welfare have partnered to offer free social work services to the Three Village community. Emma Clark patrons may visit the Library each week during designated hours to have their questions answered, get help with filling out forms, or seek referrals from a graduate student who is furthering their studies in the field.
Inquiries that the social work graduate student may assist with include, but are not limited to, employment/job search, housing, paying utility bills, applying for benefits, education, medical assistance, mental health issues, bullying, domestic abuse, substance use, LGBTQIA+ topics, care coordination, and voting pre-registration.
Starting this month, graduate student Erin Vespoli will be on-site at the Library on Tuesdays from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. and Wednesdays from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Ms. Vespoli is a mother of three who is training to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and will be at Emma Clark through the end of the school year (May 2024).
There is no pre-registration, and this service is open to all ages. In fact, afternoon/evening hours were chosen to accommodate afterschool hours for teenagers or adults who work during the day. The Wednesday hours coincide with the Library’s “Senior Bus” (transportation for those who can no longer drive so that they may take out library materials and attend events, offered on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month). While Ms. Vespoli will be located in the Library’s lobby to ensure that all patrons are aware of this new service, a private room can be made available as well. Conversations will be kept confidential; this is a safe and welcoming environment.
Libraries are information centers where the community goes to get answers to their questions, and at times help to solve their problems. Some of the challenges patrons are dealing with are at times beyond the scope of what most librarians are trained to handle. Here on Long Island, many libraries including Emma Clark, have recognized the value of adding social work assistance as a resource offering to their patrons.
Ms. Vespoli is at Emma Clark Library to answer questions but is not a therapist; referrals will be given to people looking for clinical therapy. Ms. Vespoli is a mandated reporter for cases of neglect, abuse, or harm.
The Stony Brook University’s School of Social Welfare provides a learning environment for individuals who wish to deepen and extend their knowledge and experience in bringing about social change. The School provides a place for the development of committed, analytical, and knowledgeable students who wish to undertake the difficult task of improving service delivery systems by attention to institutional structures. The graduate program prepares students for advanced social work practice and is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
The Emma S. Clark Memorial Library, located at 120 Main Street in Setauket and on the web at www.emmaclark.org, provides public library service to all residents of the Three Village Central School District. “The Heart of the Three Village Community.”