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Public Libraries: Transforming the Lives of Job Seekers

Posted April 28, 2016 in Insights & Research

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Today’s public libraries are a key source of job and career support for their communities, with librarians helping to transform the lives of job seekers. The data confirms that job seekers are using the help offered through their libraries extensively. In the 2011-2012 Public Library Funding and Technology Access Survey conducted by the Information Policy & Access Center (iPAC), it was reported that 92.2 percent of libraries help people access online job databases and resources, 77.5 percent help them create resumes, and 76.0 percent assist with online job applications1.

 

Why do 30 million job seekers turn to libraries for career search assistance each year2?

It’s because libraries offer a top notch combination of resources, expertise and guidance that help people access the right tools, gain confidence and achieve success. They offer a wide range of assistance, including:

  • Computer access, free Internet and training
    Public libraries level the playing field for those without ready access to computers and the internet. They provide on-the-spot help to get patrons started and many offer computer workshops and classes.
  • Career exploration and job search help
    “Librarians: the original search engine.” How many times have you asked a librarian, “Where can I find….” Now their search expertise must include not only printed materials, but also digital content, web searches for career information and the use of online job search engines. Librarians are truly today’s advanced search engine — with a heart!
  • Job and career databases and tools
    Libraries offer a valuable toolkit for job seekers including, but not limited to: resume creation software, job search platforms, workplace skill-building tools, career-related e-books, magazines, reference materials, popular office software applications training and skills improvement for fundamentals such as reading, writing and math.
  • Trusted guidance in a safe environment
    Public libraries are a respected presence in their community, which makes them uniquely suited to help job seekers overcome the daunting process of finding a job. The safety of the library, combined with the trustworthiness and can-do attitude of its librarians, provide a positive and constructive environment for job-seekers.

Why do so many libraries have LearningExpress’ Job & Career Accelerator to help job seekers?
Librarians know that Job & Career Accelerator provides an exceptionally powerful resource for job seekers. The award-winning online platform3 serves job seekers of all types — unemployed, underemployed, career changers, displaced workers, transitioning military and youth entering the workforce. The easy-to-use, self-directed tools are designed for independent use by patrons, which enables libraries to meet a critical community need effectively and without burdening existing library staff. Patrons have the benefit of a fully integrated resource that empowers them with all the tools they need in a single platform.

The newest version, 5.0, provides even more benefit with its sleek new design, improved navigation, new content such as career articles and skills assessment, and a responsive design so users can take Job & Career Accelerator anywhere on their mobile devices.

It features:

  • Digital career articles and e-books
  • Information on more than 1,100 occupations
  • Targeted guidance for high school students, college grads, entry-level job seekers, transitioning military, career changers and experienced job seekers
  • Skills and interest-based assessments for occupation matches
  • Over 200 sample resumes and cover letters by career experts
  • Interactive resume and cover letter builders
  • Dictionary of 25,000 action and occupation-related words
  • Interview tips and guidance
  • Real-time job searches in a database of over 5 million jobs
  • More than 100 computer skills tutorials
  • College search
  • Personalized and secure dashboard for managing a job search

Job & Career Accelerator is also an excellent source of ready-to-use content for library-sponsored career nights and computer training workshops.

1 2011-2012 Public Library Funding & Technology Access Survey: Survey Findings & Report. Information Policy & Access Center, University of Maryland College Park. http://ipac.umd.edu/sites/default/files/publications/2012_plftas.pdf
2 Digital Inclusion Survey Brief. Information Policy & Access Center, University of Maryland College Park. http://digitalinclusion.umd.edu/content/new-digital-inclusion-survey-issue-briefs-available
3 Job & Career Accelerator, Version 4.0 is a 2011 SIIA CODiE Winner in three categories

Find out more about Job & Career Accelerator 5.0 below.


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