It’s been an interesting few weeks at our house.  DH lost his job a while back, due to the kind of downsizing that’s going on all over the country.  He’s been diligently looking for a new job, and I’m pleased to share that he’s now the Director of IT for a great company.  He starts Monday.

DH, of course, is a tech-savvy guy and has our house set up with a wireless network and has about a zillion devices with which he can access the internet. The job search has been primarily online, and there are many job boards and social networks that have job postings.

Once you’ve found a job that you’re interested in, applying for that job is online.  There may be a form, which according to DH sometimes takes hours to complete. Occasionally, there’s the simple email and resume approach.  In either case, the computer time needed is substantial.

If you’re a person that is looking for a job and either doesn’t have internet access or has very slow dial-up access, you’re probably doing your job hunting at the local public library.  And if you’re the local public library, you probably have a time limit on your public access computers.  According to DH, 30 minutes is not nearly enough time.

Given the current economic times, perhaps it’s time to extend the time limit on computers at our public libraries.  I understand that there’s frequently a line of folks wanting access, but there is a significant group of people that aren’t using the computers to play games or check on their Facebook pages. Another approach would be to set aside some computers specifically for job searchers.

We should be addressing the issues that our patrons are facing and try to help them as much as possible. We may need to help those without strong computer skills navigate the morass that is a job search site, or help them apply for a position.  Maybe it’s just the access itself.  Maybe it’s assistance in developing a resume. Or establishing an email address.

Give some thought to your computer access and your IT assistance.  We can help. We should help. It may be difficult to devote resources, but it’s precisely these sorts of services that make libraries a unique and valuable community treasure.  Hopefully, people will remember that assistance when it comes time to vote for library issues. Regardless, it’s the right thing to do.

Review how you’re addressing this.  It’s more important now than ever.


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Filed under Customer Service, Libraries and Librarianship, Me and mine

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