Catawba County News

Community Navigators Available Through April

Community Navigators Available Through April

Published: April 08, 2021

Thanks to a partnership with Appalachian State University, the Catawba County Library has established a program connecting local people with Community Navigators, in-house specialists who can help them access community agencies, programs, and resources quickly and efficiently.

Community Navigators are bachelor’s and master’s degree students from ASU’s Department of Social Work and are available to help county residents through the end of April. Their office hours at the Main Library in Newton are Wednesdays 5:30-8 pm (by appt), Thursdays and Fridays 9 am-6 pm (except 12-1 pm), and Saturdays 1-6 pm (by appt). To meet with a Navigator, call 828.465.8664.

When visiting with a Community Navigator, people can receive whole-person care, guidance for making more informed decisions about their own situations, and enhanced opportunities to succeed. Navigators are well equipped to coordinate with organizations like Catawba County Social Services, Catawba County Public Health, Catawba County United Way, ECCCM, the Interagency Council, the Area Agency on Aging, and many more.

Already, the library has seen a positive impact from the presence of the Community Navigators. Through appointments and conversation, they have assisted people with finding housing, obtaining government stimulus checks, tapping into mental health resources, and working through re-entry needs following release from prison.

The Community Navigators have also provided training to library staff on relevant topics and have created a robust resource guide to help staff support patrons when the Navigators are not on-hand. A more concise printed guide for the public will be available later in the summer; anyone interested may request the guide at their nearest library location.

In-person meetings with Navigators will pause during ASU’s summer break but will resume again in August.

The grant to provide Community Navigators is made possible by funding from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (IMLS grant number LS-00-19-0034-19).