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Community Collaborations: Social Services in the Library
Wednesday, June 21, 2023, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EDT
Category: MLA Connect

Calendar icon with date June 21 and text Community Collaborations: Social Services in the Library over a photo of a woman holding a baby and talking to another person who is facing away from the viewer

MLA Connect: Community Collaborations: Social Services in the Library

June 21, 2023
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Libraries oftentimes serve as a social safety net, which may not be within the scope of library staff members’ job descriptions or abilities. Join us to learn about ways libraries have partnered with local social service organizations to widen access for the most vulnerable patrons and community members.

This webinar will be recorded and available through MLA Connect On Demand



View Recording at
MLA Connect On Demand


Mark GieslerMark Giesler, PhD, LMSW
Professor of Social Work
Saginaw Valley State University

Mark Giesler, PhD, LMSW, is a Professor of Social Work, Saginaw Valley State University. He also provides support to those who need it as a Therapist at Butterfly Counseling, Inc. in Ypsilanti. He has dedicated five years of research about the intersection of social work and library services and published papers including: “Field placements at public libraries: Experiences of social work student interns,” “Perceptions of the public library social worker: Challenges and opportunities,” “Humanizing oppression: The value of the Human Library experience in social work education,” “The collaboration between homeless shelters and public libraries in addressing homelessness: A multiple case study,” and “A place to call home?: A qualitative exploration of public librarians’ response to homelessness.”


Jeff VeddersJeff Vedders
Assistant Program Director
Community Action House Holland

Jeff Vedders began his career in business and spent many years as a project consultant. He began his journey at Community Action House in Holland, Michigan, in 2021 as the Data, Learning and Impact Specialist. He now serves as the Assistant Program Director and helps provide families and individuals with food, clothing, shelter and the opportunity to build necessary skills to achieve a stable and prosperous life.


Jessica PressleyJessica Pressley
Outreach Lead Community
Action House Holland

Jessica Pressley, BS in Interdisciplinary Health Services, certified CISM crisis debriefer through Michigan Crisis Response Association. She is the current Street Outreach Team Lead with Community Action House. Community Action House is a local nonprofit working to build a community where nobody goes without, and every neighbor has what they need for a healthy, productive, and fulfilling life.  The Outreach team works with neighbors experiencing homelessness through on-the-street outreach, case management, and resource navigation, with the goal of finding safe, stable housing. She provides overall program management and development to the team of case managers and program specialists working alongside our guests. For this partnership with the Herrick District Library, she works closely with library leaders to cultivate a welcoming space for all library patrons, guide program effectiveness with the community action house case managers to navigate the needs of guests and with the HDL leadership, to grow a community wide understanding and begin breaking down barriers and stigmas for those experiencing homelessness. She is passionate about the understanding of Trauma, its effect on individuals and their communities and how to build resilience to process through crisis and grief. She is also contracted to work with corporations in providing onsite Crisis intervention and Debriefing to teams and individuals who experience a traumatic or critical event. She provides resilience and trauma training to AFC home supervisors and managers to support teams providing care to individuals with developmental Disabilities and Mental Illness. To learn more about their work to build a stronger, healthier community, visit


Michele HowardMichele P. Howard
Library Director
Traverse Area District Library

Michele Howard has been a professional librarian for 28 years. She understands the importance of the relationship between libraries and communities as she has worked in private, higher education, and public libraries in Detroit, East Lansing, and now, as the director of Traverse Area District Library (TADL) in Traverse City.  Her experience includes serving as an elected official as a City Commissioner and Planning Commissioner for the City of Traverse City. Michele is passionate about the importance of collaborations, negotiations, and when you just have to stand up for what you believe in and not be afraid to do it. She initiated the groundwork for the Wellness Wednesdays program at TADL.

Registration Rates





Registration is first-come, first-served. A maximum of 500 attendees can attend the live webinar. Registered attendees will receive information and a link to access the webinar on the Zoom platform. You will need to log in register. Retrieve your username or reset your password by visiting the links below and inputting your primary email address. This will be the email address where you receive MLA communications.

Event Policies


Registration and attendance at, or participation in, MLA meetings or other activities constitutes an agreement by the registration to the use and distribution of the registrants or attendees' image or voice in photographs, videotapes, electronic reproductions of such events and activities by MLA.

Code of Conduct

MLA is committed to providing a safe, productive, and welcoming environment for all participants and MLA staff. Each participant, including attendees, speakers, volunteers, exhibitors, staff, service providers, is expected to understand and follow MLA policies and report any violations. These expectations apply to all MLA activities including those held in conjunction with MLA conferences, events and meetings, as well as online venues and social media.


Cancellations for MLA online and virtual events must be received in writing by e-mail no later than five (5) business days prior to the program in order to qualify for a refund. Within five (5) business days of the event, no refund will be issued. Registrations received within five (5) days of the program are not eligible for a refund. No-shows will be invoiced. A $10.00 processing fee will be applied to refunds for MLA Connect webinars.

Contact: [email protected]

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