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Posts Tagged ‘Economic Times’

Workforce Recovery and Libraries

February 5th, 2010 Comments off

During January, I participated in the Libraries and Workforce Recovery webinar, hosted by WebJunction. The hour long session focused on what public libraries are doing to help patrons find employment, to complete online applications, to develop resumes, and to cope in today’s economy. The webinar was inspirational. Libraries of all sizes are working to help their community. For inspiration at your library, listen to the archive of January’s Libraries and Workforce Recovery Webinar

Libraries & Tough Times in the News shares media articles and interviews highlighting how libraries are helping residents find jobs. You will want to share with your boards and mayors reports as you communicate what your library is contributing to the community. The American Library Association has posted Job-seeking in U.S. Public Libraries, another excellent resource about the impact job-seekers have had on libraries.

A recent Longshots podcast, Helping others cope with the challenges of job loss, focuses on building listening skills, learning about physical and emotional boundaries, among other skills. Longshots is a regular podcast from Sarah Long. A companion article is Addressing emotional challenges of patrons and yourself by Diane Shelton. Another podcast resource is from Fairfield Public Library (Connecticut) on various job skills, from resumes to workplace law. Of special interest are the podcasts for using the library’s online databases to help with job searches.

While this has a North Carolina focus, the Job Search Tool Kit by the State Library of North Carolina, is a wonderful starting point for libraries helping patrons. The Tool Kit is perfect for discussion at a staff meeting and linking from the library’s Web site. And it can be updated for your community and region.

Check out some of the programs Forsyth County Public Library (North Carolina) is hosting for area residents; visit their Survive & Thrive blog.

How is your library supporting residents seeking employment and recovery? Have you seen an increase in patrons using library computers for job searches? What programs have you hosted related to job searching?

Surviving These Economic Times

February 19th, 2009 Comments off

As a history buff, I am fascinated by the cycles society and civilizations go through. For example, my grandmothers would giggle about the free ’60’s, saying the roaring ’20’s were much wilder. And apparently the gay 1890’s were pretty out there, according to Grandma Lillie.

Less fun is the downward economic cycle we are currently experiencing. During my professional life, there were the slides of the early 1980’s, the early 1990’s, and who can forget 2000-2001? Each time the economy drops, amazing pressure is put on libraries. Our revenue shrinks, yet usage and demand for our services increases. Definitely keeping library directors and managers awake at night.

Over the years, librarians have shared their ideas to successfully save and/or reduce library-related costs. In fact, during the 2003 ILA conference, Anita Driver (Jerseyville Public Library) chaired a panel, Cutting Cost in Small Libraries and Still Providing Great Service, devoted to this topic. In today’s economic , it seems appropriate to share ideas to keep costs low while allowing us to continue serving our patrons.

  • To supplement staff, work with community service groups such as the National Honor Society, high school students, or practicum students to do projects for the library.
  • The keep building expenses low, ask retired electricians to volunteer working with the library.
  • Collaborate with local greenhouse to use the library’s grounds to showcase the greenhouse. Or ask area Master Gardeners to maintain the library’s yard.
  • Stretching the collection includes purchasing used DVDs from area video stores, or purchasing a DVD/CD cleaning matching to extend the life of the CD/DVDs
  • Ask local businesses to donate prizes for programs. Some of the prizes libraries have received include certificates for hair cuts, school supplies, bikes, meals, and pizzas
  • Always use the Illinois Department of Revenue’s sales tax exemption letter when purchasing items for the library
  • Join the Illinois System Directors’ Fund for Illinois Libraries for 501(c)3 status
  • Recycle, recycle, and recycle
  • Another way to stretch the library’s training dollars? Use the free WebJunction Illinois online courses for staff training. Course topics include Dealing with Angry Patrons, Directors ASK!, Merchandising that Works, and Accompanying the Young Reader. WebJunction Illinois also has the popular Shelving with Dewey. To access these free courses, log into your WebJunction Illinois account at http://il.webjunction.org, choosing IL Course Catalog at the main page.

You might also want to read Shifting Gears: rethinking resources in tough times from the Alliance Library System.

What ideas have worked at your library? Please share your ideas by posting them in the comments section of this post.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , , ,

Libraries Value in Tough Economic Times

January 13th, 2009 Comments off

Just got a great link to information on how libraries can let their communities know of services they have to help folks through tough economic times.  While most have seen the video at the link below,  look farther down the page for pieces of a toolkit that can be used to be sure your patrons and your communities know just how valuable you are.

The ALA toolkit contains information on how to work with decision-makers, ways to work with the media, and talking points to help libraries articulate the role of libraries in times of economic downturn. Talking points on the economic value of libraries, with return-on-investment examples; libraries and the economy; and upswings in library usage are included.

www.ala.org/tougheconomytoolkit

I think this information would make a great discussion and look forward to comments on the blog about how libraries are telling their communities about their value.

Categories: Advocacy Tags: , ,