Saturday, August 28, 2010

Review: Macro Social Work Practice - A Strengths Perspective (2006)

Macro Social Work Practice: A Strengths Perspective (2006) by Dennis Long, Carolyn Tice and John Morrison. The authors define the history of macro social work practice and social welfare and different types of macro-practice roles (e.g., social planner, administrator, evaluator, community organizer, educator, policy analyst, facilitator, program developer, grant/proposal writer, etc.). Furthermore, they highlight the strengths model, which focuses on the assets, innate abilities and optimism of consumers and communities. It is common for many professionals to focus on negativity (e.g., problems and social pathology). A strengths model works with people rather than subordinates them. Each chapter has a summary, review of key terms, case examples, reflection exercises and suggested readings.
Sample chapters:
Ch. 1 Defining Macro Practice
Ch. 2 Adopting a Strengths Perspective in Macro Practice
Ch. 3 Considerations for the Practitioner
Ch. 4 Calling on Consumer and Citizen Strengths
Ch. 5 Enriching Organizational Life
Ch. 6 Developing Community Resources and Capacities
...and much more!

This is one of the best textbooks/handbooks on macro social work practice. It provides an excellent introduction to this area of social work, which is often misunderstood or underrated. As a future macro social worker, it gave me the tools, values and perspectives on work with larger social systems at the community, organizational and societal levels. In addition, there are various types of macro social work practice (e.g., social research, social planning, policy analysis, organizational development, advocacy and social action, and much more!). I highly recommend this book to students, faculty, and practitioners because social justice is one of the core values in the NASW Code of Ethics. In other words, social workers also work to solve community and social problems by working with consumers and gaining allies in the process.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Michigan Girl's Cafe Among Top 50 Blogs for Social Work Professionals

Breaking news! My blog is ranked #15 among the Top 50 Blogs for Social Work Professionals by MSW, which provides comprehensive coverage to accredited social work programs and careers in the United States.
15. Michigan Girl’s Cafe. A graduate of the University of Michigan provides guidance to aspiring social workers and provides helpful links to show how a degree in social work can be used.

This is truly an honor. Nearly 18 months later, my efforts are finally paying off. Please spread the word to your colleagues and continue to support this website!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Libraries vs. Google

On InsideHigherEd, Barbara Fisher explains how libraries and Google are similar and different. Some people wonder whether Google will take over the role of librarians. I believe this comparison is excellent because it shows how both have different ways in connecting people with information. Click on the link below to read the differences.

Ways libraries are like Google
  • Both have as their mission to organize and make the world's information accessible.
  • Both make it possible to get digital information no matter where you are and even if you're still in your jammies.
  • Both have books, articles, videos, music, images, and other materials from all time periods.
  • Both offer tools to help you focus and narrow a search that most users ignore.
  • Both have blogs.
  • Both experiment with new technologies.
  • Both launch uber-cool technologies that, it turns out, nobody actually wants.
  • Both can be a huge time saver and a huge time waster, often on the very same day.
  • Both have good information and lots of information that is outdated, useless, incorrect, and biased.
Ways libraries are not like Google

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Review: The Road Not Taken - A History of Radical Social Work in the United States (2001)

The Road Not Taken: A History of Radical Social Work in the United States, by Michael Reisch and Janice Andrews, traces the history of radical social work during the twentieth century. Three factors contributed to its downfall: the blacklisting of social work intellectuals (e.g., Jane Addams, Florence Kelly, Marion Hathaway, Bertha Reynolds) under anti-Communism, the professionalization of social work, the marginalization of social and political action, the rise of conservatism in the 1980s, and the growing emphasis on material wealth and status. This book is an important contribution to social work because future generations of social workers will understand that their previous generations made many sacrifices to openly address social and economic issues that were not mainstream.

I highly recommend this book to all social work students, faculty and practitioners, especially in macro practice. It opened my mind to the truth, the feelings that bothered me ever since I entered graduate study in social work: Why is the field today more clinical-oriented rather than social action-oriented? How did earlier social workers get involved in social movements? What were the consequences of their actions and its effects on national social welfare policy? This book addresses those questions and the decline of radical social work since the 1970s. Nationwide, families' safety nets are gradually disappearing today; social workers should rise up and promote social and economic justice. The voices of the past, who risked their lives and careers against larger forces, shall not be forgotten.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ogletree: Importance of Diversity in Libraries

Honorary Spectrum Co-Chair Charles Ogletree of Harvard Law School answers questions from an American Libraries reporter about the value of libraries in his upbringing and why diversity is more important than ever in libraries.