Evaluation of Library Connect's First Two Years | City of Fremantle
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01 December 2023
Evaluation of Library Connect's First Two Years

Library Connect is an award-winning program that provides for a social worker based at Fremantle Library to assist members of the community facing various hardships in life.

A report into the first two years of program has found the benefits have been significant, particularly in supporting people experiencing or at risk of homelessness and financial difficulties.

The ground-breaking program, which started in September 2020, is a partnership between the City of Fremantle and St Patrick’s Community Support Centre.

In the first two years it helped 509 people facing disadvantage in the community. Two thirds of those had not sought social service support ever before. Many people found the help they needed in their first contact with the program.

Libraries are seen as safe spaces in the community. Having a support worker based in a library removes barriers to those seeking help in the form of advice or referrals and reaches people who might not be aware of the services available.

The Library Connect program is the first of its kind in Western Australia, taking inspiration from the City of Melbourne and more than a hundred public libraries in the United States.

The report’s findings demonstrate the value of the service and may be of use to other local governments considering such initiatives to provide practical support to those who need it most.

 

Read the full evaluation report here.

For more information about St Patrick’s Community Support Centre, visit stpats.com.au.

For more information about Fremantle Library, visit fremantle.wa.gov.au/library.