06/21/09 — Library offers new job search resources

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Library offers new job search resources

By Steve Herring
Published in News on June 21, 2009 2:00 AM

Wayne County Library, in partnership with Wayne Community College, Wayne Occupational Readiness Keys for Success, and the Eastern Carolina Workforce Development Board, is providing access to career readiness tutorials every Monday night from 6-8 p.m. in the Gertrude Weil Auditorium from 6 to 8 p.m.

The program will expand the library's efforts to help local citizens find a job or to help them get a promotion in their current job. It will run through the summer, every Monday night.

People are not required to have a library card to use the resource and the courseware is available in Spanish.

The library recently acquired 10 laptops and installed WIN Courseware on each of the computers to help citizens prepare for Career Readiness Certificate testing.

The CRC is a portable credential that documents work-related skills. In other words, the CRC will show an employer and future employers what work-related skills a person has and will give a person an advantage with employers who accept the CRC.

"This is a preparation course where people can come in and practice for free, at their own pace," said Matt Bolen, reference department supervisor. "However, though we do not require an appointment, we recommend it. Otherwise people might come in and a computer would not be available."

Bolen said the computer tutorials begin at one level and once the person gets a certain percentage of the answers correct, they will go to the next level.

"If they are having difficulty getting out of a particular area of study, the software will stop them and let them know what they need training in," Bolen said. "They can then come to the reference desk to find out what kind of materials are available in the library that can help them move on to the next level of study.

"They may finish in one night, or they may need to come back. They can come back as often as they want or need."

"County commissioners approved the purchase of these computers and we are so thankful," said Donna Phillips, Wayne County Library assistant director. "These laptops will really help citizens better prepare themselves for a job search."

The Wayne County Library, like other libraries across the country, has experienced increased traffic and greater demand for expanded services since the downward turn of the economy.

According to the 2007-08 Public Library Funding and Technology Access Study, nearly 73 percent of libraries are their communities' sole provider of free Internet access that increases to 82 percent in rural areas.

Aiding job seekers was increasingly viewed as a critical role for public libraries, with 62.2 percent of libraries reporting this service is critical to the library's mission, up from 44 percent one year earlier.

"We are trying to do as much as possible to help people connect with employment," Mrs. Phillips said.

For more information or to sign up for the Monday night courseware, call the library's reference desk at 735-1824, ext. 5100.