Helping in Hard Times

You know the stats. Library usage is up. Way up. According to a recent New York Times article libraries across the nation are seeing 10-30% more patrons over last year. The reason of course is the dismal economy. Libraries are answering this call with innovative and timely programs even as their own budgets are cut. Here’s a few that we think deserve special attention.

After surveying public library directors, the Washington State Library created a new website -Hard Times in Washington Libraries. This online destination includes Resources for Library Users and Resources for Library Staff. For users there are links for resume and job skills and help finding jobs as well as information for making ends meet, filing for unemployment and much more. For library staff, the resources focus on how to find funding during this difficult time.

The New Jersey State Library offers residents employment and career resources online, in print and from their catalog. Resources include everything from how to write a resume and conduct a job search to finding civil service positions and exploring new occupations.

Individual libraries are also creating new resources and tools for job seekers such as Benicia Public Library in California which prominently features it’s job resources right on the library’s home page. In the “Looking for a Job?” section the library has listed a variety of national and local online resources and they also have a in-library help including a new job binder at the customer service desk and one-to-one resume help. is doing our part to help libraries and patrons too. As noted in a former post, is launching a new Learning Suite including an Adult Center which was covered recently in Library Journal and InfoToday. Our services will help adults write a resume or cover letter with real-time writing guidance, provide vetted job search resources in our new 24/7 SkillsCenter™ Resource Library and also support adults going back to school or preparing for the GED.

How is your library answering the needs of your community?


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