|Weekly News Digest
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IMLS Grant Will Help Libraries Help the Unemployed
Job seekers have packed libraries around the country during recent months, searching online job sites, building resumes, taking interview classes, and making use of a wide range of other employment services and resources. More help is on the way. Through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS; www.imls.gov), WebJunction (www.webjunction.org), the online learning community for library staff created by OCLC, and the State Library of North Carolina have launched a 1-year initiative to gather and share best practices for providing library-based employment services and programs to the unemployed.
The partners will develop and host an online training module-available to everyone-that adapts the workshop curriculum and experience. A core feature of the program will be online conversations at WebJunction.org for state library administrators to explore new ideas for supporting local public library staff to deliver work force services. All regional workshops and the online training module will be supported by follow-on programming. This will provide participants with the resources and support they need to assist local public libraries as they respond to urgent patron demands.
Project goals include dissemination of services, programs, and partnerships to support the unemployed; greater capacity in state library agencies to support their local public libraries; and broader understanding and support outside the library field for the work force development role that libraries have in responding to the crisis.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas.
Since 2003, WebJunction has helped more nearly 50,000 library staff build their job skills by partnering with state library agencies and other library service organizations to deliver cost-effective staff training and development programs. WebJunction's vision is to be the place where the worldwide library profession gathers to build the knowledge, skills, and support it needs to power relevant, vibrant libraries. WebJunction is supported in part by OCLC, grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the library community.
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