Terry, Jeff, Patti and Maggie – Job Seekers

Topeka & Shawnee Public Library has a new Jobs & Careers Neighborhood, including reference in proximity.  They started circulating some career books, but included books from throughout the collection about:

  • career exploration
  • job success (for women)
  • time management
  • networking
  • job search
  • difficult coworkers
  • career development (stress, advancement, etc.)
  • job loss
  • resumes – don’t write it from scratch…use a resume program if it’s available
  • cover letters
  • interview tips – work with Human Resources to know what you can/can’t ask and how to dress, for example
    • Job 101 Class – Terry and HR Rep
      • How to Dress
      • Compiling a Resume (10 must haves and “never go ins”)
      • Possible interview questions and strategies – couching on how to sell yourself to an employer
      • (Questions you shouldn’t be asked)
      • Courtesy and deportment – eye contact, hand shakes, etc., thank you email for interview
      • 1 1/2 hours with high participation
      • Tell the employer that you want the job and don’t ask about the salary…and the patron Terry gave that advice to came back to say she’d gotten a job (helping people get jobs) – great story
  • Winway Resume on all public access computers in Topeka
  • Unemployment pushes many people to go into business for themselves!
    • Topeka Small Business Center works with Library to offer FULL classes
  • Workforce Center – new Kansas Registered Apprenticeship program (wind energy field/industry is training people in all aspects and are offering paid internships!)  Just getting off the ground.

Maggie from Olathe Public Library (on the fly panelist)

  • Problems with patrons applying for Kansas Unemployment prompted the start of appointments – ‘Book a Librarian’ program
  • Media attention!  Originally just for helping with Unemployment b/c of the computer aspects
  • For many people, the online form is their first use of a computer…so they don’t have  a pre-existing Email Address!
  • A plus – you don’t get kicked off when you need to go get an email address mid-stream
  • A minus – there’s a lot of information that the patron needs, like gross income data
  • The form has 6 security questions – another foreign concept for a new computer user
  • By using the appt system, there’s time set aside to work with the patron
  • How long does the form take?  Motivated – 1 hour, 3 hours with problems
  • Normally, patrons have 1 hour on the computer, but extensions are given
  • Rewarding for the librarian –
    • A few hiccups – appts used for payday loans and genealogy, not unemployment
  • How long in advance for an appointment? 5 minutes, if someone is available.  A few no-shows and late comers
  • If someone can’t type, do you type for them?  Try not to do that at Olathe, but in a few cases she’s done a little

Patti – State Library of Kansas


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