Monday, November 21, 2016

Enter the Public Library: Libraries Provide Only Opportunities for Some in Applying for Jobs

"Get a job!" is the sentiment many have toward those who are perceived to be living off the system of entitlements.  In today's digital world, that is easier said than done.

Those who have not been in the job search arena in the past 10 years may be unaware that most jobs require applications to be submitted via computer, rather than by hand. The lack of a home computer, coupled with possibly insufficient reading and digital literacy skills, put those most in need of a job at a disadvantage.

Enter the public library.  Not only does the library have the digital tools necessary to fill out online applications, we have staff that can help applicants shift through job postings, help construct resumes and cover letters, and fill out the necessary applications.  Patrons needing extra help can Reserve-a-Librarian specifically to work one-on-one with him.

The digital divide, including the equipment, the connections, and the skills to use them, are getting wider.  In order to have a true democracy, all citizens should be equipped with the same basic skills.  Being able to access the job market is one of those skills.  I am thankful public libraries remember their roles as a people's university and are able to help bridge some of the issues confronting our citizens.