Originally published in Job Resource Librarian
During the last two years, I tried to help patrons with job searching and career advice. Unfortunately, besides for my Google Docs and the files stored on my flash drive, I had not kept a record of the tools I had used to help patrons, or how effective they had been. Looking back, I began to wish that I had kept a record of everything that I had learned since I started researching this topic and teaching classes. I realized if I had kept a blog about my experiences, I would have had a digital trail that I could search and update as needed.
At the same time, it seemed to me that there is an overabundance of library blogs and I didn’t want to repeat the kind of information that was already out there on the web. Everyone was already blogging about blogging… and about RSS, and Flickr, and Facebook.. and everything else 2.0. I love those blogs, and reading all of the new ideas is truly inspiring. There are a ton of librarians who really know their *stuff*, so I certainly didn’t feel the need to add to that conversation.
This topic, however, was different. It seems as though libraries across the country are being asked to fill the void and act as community centers and social service organizations. To add to that, public libraries are, and have always been, a first point-of-contact for many new computer users. As the dependence on online resources grows, our roles will be shifting even more to play the part of social worker and educator, and mostly, in this economy–career resource expert.
As much as I dug, I couldn’t find many librarian blogs that focused on career resources. I could find an overview post here and there about using the library databases, but I couldn’t find any that really got down and dirty about what was needed to help our patrons bridge the digital divide. As a result, this blog is my attempt to catalog some of my own research and experience as well as to provide updated information about resources in the Chicago area.
You’ll find that most of this blog focuses on the needs of patrons who are not that comfortable using the computer, but some posts might be helpful for other users too. I’ve tried to tag the posts appropriately so the posts are searchable.
I hope at least some of this is helpful!