Libraries for Job Seekers
In 2012 the Bellingham Public Library was awarded a federal Institute of Museum and Library Services grant through the Library Services and Technology Act. This grant, which was administered by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, enabled the library to hold programs to help job seekers. This grant was in the amount of $7,000.
The library held workshops in resume and cover letter writing, interview techniques, technology skills, as well as starting a networking group and holding a job fair. Library staff also received training to better prepare them to help job seekers. Funds were also used to update the library’s materials for job seekers in various formats such as books, audio books and DVDs. This page is dedicated to job seekers and has links to job resources. A database called “Career Cruising,” an online planning and guidance system, was purchased. This database assists users in finding the right career, explore education and training options, build a portfolio and create a resume. A mobile classroom with laptop computers was set up and was available for hands-on computer work at scheduled times. The Friends of the Library has supplied funding for the core laptops which were needed for the program.
The library is pleased that Target Corporation supplemented the federal grant with an additional $2000 award. The funds from Target were used to purchase additional laptop computers for the mobile classroom and to purchase software that enabled workshop attendees, and all library patrons, to print from wireless devices at the library.
The Bellingham Library has also been a recipient of a donation in the amount of $2,500 from UniBank, headquartered in Whitinsville, MA, with a local branch in Blackstone, MA. This donation was also in support of the “Libraries for Job Seekers” programming. These funds have been used to purchase a display case for the updated library materials for job seekers, as well as helping to pay for a power recharging cart for the laptop computers. The library thanks the Friends of the Library, Target Corporation, and UniBank for their generous contributions, which have enhanced the services to job seekers under this grant.
The current economic downturn has caused some people to return to the library for the first time in years. Although the grant year has ended, the library still schedules workshops for job seekers, and anyone with an active Bellingham library card can access the Career Cruising database and check out job seeking materials.