Reading into new job possibilities
By Caroline Greene
Libraries in London are offering more than just a good book these days.
The London Public Library is working with Human Resources Development Canada to create an employment resource centre in two of London's branch libraries, in hopes of helping the unemployed find work.
Jalna library, located in south-central London and Crouch library in east London, will be offering many employment services targeted towards students, people re-entering the work force and people requiring income support services.
The project is an attempt by a government agency to move closer to the community and test the viability of neighbourhood resource centres, said Mary Lacey, London resource centre coordinator for Human Resources Development Canada. "I'd rather go to my corner library than a government office."
Electronic resources, such as Internet access, software packages to assess skills, a job bank and labour market information will be made available as well as brochures, books and videos on preparing résumés and successful interviews, said Joan Cavanagh, manager of public services for the London Public Library. A full-time library staff member will also be on hand offering personalized assistance to job-seekers.
The HRC employment office is currently located in downtown London at Queen St. and Talbot St., however, many people who have used the facility wanted access in their local communities, Cavanagh said. The libraries were a natural choice of location because they already provide many related services.
When employment information becomes more available and provides more choices, it's always a good idea, said Sharon Lee, coordinator of employment services at the Student Development Centre at Western.
"[The Student Development Centre] offers the most sophisticated technology-based delivery of employment services in the country." All of SDC's employment services are offered on-line and can provide convenience and exceptional resources to Western students and alumni, she added.