Thursday, January 28, 2010

Job Hunting At The Library

It's in the news quite frequently, how the jobless are turning to their libraries for resources on finding jobs. Listening and reading some media reports, one would think this is something new. Who knew that the library could be so useful? Librarians knew. Savvy library uses know this too. This is no new phenomenon. However, others in the community are just finding
out about what their library has to offer. In almost every public library, there is a section devoted to careers. Some name it Career Resource Center, while others may call it Career Guidance Collection. Whatever the name, these books guide the job hunters in the search for employment. It can't be documented, but one book may have given birth to the career centers in libraries. Ever heard of the book "What color is your parachute?". The first edition of that book is from 1972. It began as a self-published book in 1970. From there it has taken on a life of it's own, not to mention the author Dick Bolles has become the "guru" to go to for career changers and job hunters. Thirty yeas later, the What Color is Your Parachute is considered the bible for job hunters and libraries are providing career information more than ever before.

A week ago, at a Career Ministries of Michigan program, resources for job hunters were discussed. Attendees of this program ranged from those who have been out of work for several months to those who are employed part time but seeking full-time assignment. In speaking with these job hunters it was clear that although the media has talked about libraries' resources, some have heard the message and not giving it a second thought. While others have not heard it at all. The question begs to be answered, why are people ignoring what is right in front of them? Perhaps its because they think they don't have time to go to the library. The news should flash another headline: Libraries open 24/7 via the internet. That might perk the interest of some to begin their search at home. Like it or not, the image of libraries for most people is a building full of books. Most haven't seen how libraries have evolved in the computer age. With this in mind the program focused not only on topics such as what resume books to purchase, but also valuable websites and databases through Michigan eLibrary ( With an unstable economy, just about everyone from job hunters to career coaches will find something of value in these resources.

It is a job of a librarian to teach others how to find information effectively. For job hunters, this is important because time is too precious to waste. In the following weeks, this blog will feature some of the best books and resources for job hunters. The hope is that it will spur librarians to promote them and job hunters and career coaches to use them. Career networking groups or coaches might want to hold their own session of using the library to find a job. Finding a librarian to present a workshop on this topic shouldn't be too hard. This librarian/blogger is willing to come out to spend time with groups of all sizes promoting the resources and providing a helping hand to guide through the maze of information.
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