Joanna Marroquin, The Social Work Librarian

Did you know Social Workers make amazing librarians? Local libraries are vibrant community hubs packed with resources and opportunities! 
Meet Joanna Marroquin, The Social Work Librarian! On this blog, Joanna shares  more about Library social work, what drives her mission for change and how YOU can get involved too! Let's begin...


"Supporting access to information that can truly be life changing for folks. People don't realize that what libraries have to offer is more than just books these days"

Joanna Marroquin 101

I'm a Social Worker, working in a Library. It's Community Social Work at it's best while being a Public Servant. I've been in the field for over 12 years starting with Foster-Kinship Adoptive families, moving toward early intervention of 0-3 year olds, then moving toward being a coordinator & then supervisor for Kinship families throughout Arizona. I did a stint in Public Health working at a Community Health Center having oversight of a national campaign of health insurance enrollment (Medicare, Medicaid & ACA) before moving onto the Phoenix Public Library (PPL). With PPL I've been able to work in underserved communities, support the needs of literacy with youth, teens and worked in empowering adults in supporting to start and grow their dreams of owning their own small business or nonprofit organization. Supporting access to information that can truly be life changing for folks. People don't realize that what libraries have to offer is more than just books these days. I've also volunteered with community organizing and grassroots campaign groups, immigrants and unaccompanied minors, and church community project days. What it comes down to is that people and my community are important to me. If we help people to do better, they in turn give back to our communities and then it's better for us all. Cause & effect.


My mission...

My WHY is simple. I believe wholeheartedly that everyone should have access to the tools they need to have a quality of life that is satisfactory to them. My WHY stems from wanting to make a difference and believing that social justice is a the root of everything we do. I'm a native Arizonan and I grew up volunteering/helping with my church, helping in our community and helping our family. Growing up I realized that there were a lot of injustices that people faced on a daily. It wasn't until I had experienced that in my personal life with an ill parent. The injustices that happen to people with disabilities is truly sickening. I felt in that time that I was meant to help advocate and fight for change. I found that my passion through this all is advocacy and social justice for community. When I say community, I mean "a group of people that come together from a common area and share common interests, ideas, passions, etc."


"The Library is a protective factor for many that we serve"

I am a catalyst of change because...

I believe that everyone should have an equal playing field. While, I'm realistic and know that's not how things are, I do my best to be and advocate and an agent of change through encouraging and empowering people to find their voice and being an ally to support the needs of people who are marginalized. I believe the Code of Ethics is something strongly to adhere to especially because we as Social Workers encounter so many different things on a day-to-day basis.

It's important for me to share with you that...

Continued advocacy is needed and to approach service from a culturally grounded perspective would be ideal. The Library is a protective factor for many that we serve, and it is one of the last places that people can be where no one will ask you for anything (unless it's to stop being disruptive).
I would encourage people to support reasons for the City of Phoenix to add additional funding for Social Workers in the library. Over 81 libraries over the US have Social Workers heading their Community Resource or Social Services components. We've created a organizational structure of what it would look like, but they definitely need support in making that a reality at City Council meetings.
Libraries are a place for all, equal access for all and seek to remove barriers to information. I love that in a library a community can come together.

You can learn more and get involved too...

Visit (Where Social Work & Librarianship meet). Also, if you're interested in meeting up in Tucson, Arizona and having regular meet ups, I would love for a fellow social work discussion to happen. Meeting of the minds is so important and supporting one another is great!


Joanna is particularly interested in medical/public health, community services, research/planning, policy and advocacy, child welfare, homelessness, special needs/disability, nutrition and access to quality foods, and social and criminal justice reform. 
Want to connect with her?
Social media: Facebook and LinkedIn as Joanna Marroquin
Instagram as @Jemmy726
Are you interested in sharing about the type of social work you do? Share with us! 

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