Public Libraries – jobs, social services and funding, oh my.

People need real help!

Where to turn???  Things keep getting worse.

Example: The unemployment rate in Pennsylvania has climbed to 6.7 percent  from 4.9 percent a year ago. The state has processed an average of 46,000 initial claims a week since Jan. 1, a 52 percent increase over last year.

As the struggling economy continues to cause the loss of thousands of more jobs each month, public libraries have become the essential provider of  resources, advice clinics, access to online job search and online social service applications for those seeking employment and help in this time of need.

Public libraries around the country are partnering with profit and non-profit groups to create advice clinics, counseling sessions and additional resources for topics like: employment and career, home foreclosure and access to social services. Norman Oder at Library Journal Online has these examples:

NYPL Session Helping Laid-Off Professionals Draws Crowd 

At San Diego County Library, Foreclosure Clinics Draw a Crowd

The computer access that public libraries provide for internet service for the online completion of job applications and social services is critical to those who have no access or have discontinued their personal online web access due to a lack of funds.  From E-government to E-job-hunting

Now you may ask, how can libraries continue to expand their services and resources for their struggling communities?  The answer lies in an expanded effort to better partner with community groups and your funding partners. See the advice here from Stephen Abram on Funding resources for libraries.

During difficult times – great libraries work smarter, get more creative, develop new partnerships and most importantly – stay focused on the specific needs of their communities. 



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