The social work collection supports the degree programs of the University's School of Social Policy and Practice and the research activities of the School's faculty. Currently the major emphasis in the curriculum is applied research related to the profession of social work and the broad field of social welfare in both an historical and contemporary frame. Within this context the analysis of social policy and social problems and the investigation and evaluation of a wide range of intervention programs and practices are major concerns. Faculty research focuses on these areas as well.

The School offers the following graduate degrees: the M.S.W., M.S. in Social Policy, M.S. in Nonprofit/NGO Leadership, Ph.D in Social Welfare, and the Doctorate in Clinical Social Work. Students in all programs combine field work in their area of specialization with academic course work. In addition the School offers the following joint degree programs with other departments and schools within the University and with other institutions in the area.

MSW/Master of City Planning
MSW/ Master of Government Administration
MSW/Master of Public Health
MSW/MS in Criminology
MSW/MS in Education
MSW/Ph.D. in Social Welfare 
MSW/Home-School Visitor Certification Program
MSW/Certificate in Jewish Communal Services
MSW/Certification in Catholic Social Ministry
MSW/Certificate in Lutheran Social Ministry

There are 6 research centers at the school: the Center for Research on Youth and Social Policy, The Cartographic Modeling Lab, Field Center for Children's Policy, Practice and Research, Program for Religion and Social Policy Research, The Evelyn Ortner Unity Program in Family Violence, and The Social Impact of the Arts Project.

The collection is historically strong in American social issues, social policy and in social welfare history, and continues to be so. The area of non-profit management is a new and growing area of the collection. The journal collection is strong and includes the core journals as well as most of the other journals included in the 2 primary databases for the field, Social Services Abstracts and Social Work Abstracts. A large number of journals are now available in electronic format. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the SP2 programs students draw upon the resources of the University Library system as a whole, such as the other social science disciplines in Van Pelt. They draw upon material on health related issues in the Biomedical Library and in anthropology at the University Museum Library. Material in health care economics, workplace issues and management of non-profits is in the Lippincott Library.

1. Chronological

Chronological Emphasis is on current material.

2. Formats

Monographs and serials in hardcopy, microform and digital formats are all included. Textbooks are an important source in social work because this is where new research and theories are often reported. Directories of social service agencies, public and private, are heavily used. Electronic bibliographic databases and electronic resource sites, e.g. The Encyclopedia of Social Work, are essential.