Sunday, October 11, 2009

Newsweek: How Libraries Are Becoming Career Centers

This April 2009 Newsweek article is another great example illustrating how librarians help patrons everyday, particularly in finding and providing information about employment opportunities in a struggling economy. Librarians can also inspire hope to job seekers who need assistance in a community setting. Another great factor is the writer works in the Metro Detroit area.
Libraries are my world. I've been a patron all my life, and for the past nine years I've worked at multiple libraries and archives in and around Detroit. The library as an institution has many roles, but as our country struggles through an economic crisis, I have watched the library where I work evolve into a career and business center, a community gathering place and a bastion for hope.

This quote below explains how the economy has affected the state of Michigan:
I interpreted people's interest in our business collection as the first step to pursuing their dreams, but these patrons were not motivated by dreams. They were responding to reality, and they were looking for Plan B. In Michigan, a slew of unfortunate circumstances caused the first rumblings of recession. Rising unemployment was compounded by rampant foreclosures. The auto industry went spiraling, and with it, their suppliers, then neighborhoods. Michigan's deficit grew, budgets were slashed and business slowed. Southfield used to headquarter five Fortune 500 corporations; today only Lear Corp. remains. As the city shed business, it shed tax revenue as well. Department budgets shrank and a hiring freeze permeated the city.

Do you know any examples of libraries becoming career centers in your local community?

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