Libraries are Invaluable to Job Searchers

Jan 23


Tony Calabrese

Tony Calabrese

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It’s amazing to me how much of my time over the last year has been spent in public libraries. Prior to becoming involved in my coaching practice...

It’s amazing to me how much of my time over the last year has been spent in public libraries.  Prior to becoming involved in my coaching practice,Libraries are Invaluable to Job Searchers Articles the last time I can remember being in a library with any regularity was when I was a student back in college.  However, various aspects of my practice take me to the library frequently.  It is a great place to conduct a one on one session with clients, particularly as many libraries have breakout rooms for independent study and discussion.  Libraries also run many free programs for their patrons on topics of interest.  Obviously, they are a fantastic source of a great deal of reference material.  The best thing about it is all of this is available to the patrons of the library by just signing up for a free library card.

Libraries are a top source of materials for those in job search or career change.  Research is a critical component for those conducting a successful and productive job search campaign.  Your local library is likely to have most of what you need either in its massive reference volumes or in today’s world on its online website.  For example at my local library there is an online tool called Job and Career Accelerator which has both guidance on how to conduct your job search and leads to potential job openings throughout our state.  In addition, if you want to learn more about a particular profession the library is likely to be the home of the massive Encyclopedia of Associations.   One of the best ways to learn about a field of interest to you is to attend one of their association meetings and speak with those currently in the field.  The Encyclopedia of Associations should provide contact information to the association and guide you to a local chapter in you area.

For over a year now I have been involved as an administrator for a “Professionals in Transition” group at my library.  Twice monthly, residents from my town and surrounding towns meet to hear guest speakers on a variety of topics that are of interest for those that are either seeking work, looking to start their own business or are underemployed in their current position and are looking to move into a position more in their chosen field.  These sessions also serve as networking events for the participants.  Often attendees can share leads with each other either on potential job openings, alert them to other support based groups providing guidance and information or just provide a friend to share job search experiences and provide encouragement for each other in their respective searches.

I can’t emphasize enough this last benefit of becoming acquainted again with your local library.  The internet is a wonderful tool and can be of great help to those who use it to learn a wide variety of information.  Even through your library, and by being a member through your local library card you can do much research on the library’s website from the comfort of your home at a time of day that works best for you.  However, one of the worst things any job seeker can do is to confine themselves exclusively to being in front of their computer in their own home.  Going to the library gets you out of the house, allows for the potential to interact with others and at the same time helps you to improve your knowledge base through the materials that it has available for you at its disposal that may not always be stored online.  Before the internet was common place in most homes, the primary way to get the type of information that you find on it today, was to take a trip to research and find it at your local library.  And, while modern technology has modified the ways one may look to seek information, it cannot in this instance make up for the human interaction you have the opportunity to expose yourself to  which may help to boost your morale as you go through your search.

Ultimately, the library and its tools and information can be used in whatever way most benefits you.  Taking some time to research what it may possess can often provide the leads to the next steps in your job search.   Its staff is usually very knowledgeable on the latest information that is available on the topics you are looking to research.  And, like I mentioned earlier, its greatest benefit, particularly to those in job search who find that their funds may be tight, it only requires you to sign up for a free membership card.  It even has the computer technology available on site for you to use if you do not have that available to you in your own home.

Yes, the public library is one of the greatest sources of information available to those in job search or career change.  Consider checking out your local branch as you move forward in your search in the coming year.