5 Questions: Job Hunter
Library seeks to help unemployed
Q: Why did you decide to dedicate these computer workstations just for job finding?
A: Our mission at the library is meeting the needs of the citizens of Tonganoxie and this seemed like the right thing to do. We have been noticing a lot of people in the community looking for jobs and needing a lot more time at the computers then they usually do, mainly because of the time required in putting together resumes and filling out online job applications. I have noticed an application or two that was more than ten pages, and when that is the case the last thing you want to have happen is the computer log you off. The thinking at the library was to use some of the space in the community room to house a few computers that people can come in and use. Incidentally, we have also been letting people who have to WebFile their state taxes use the room as well.
Q: What kind of technology do you have available for job seekers?
A: We have three basic Internet machines that can only be used to get on the Internet. We had initially thought about getting software to install on the machines, but our thinking behind Internet only was to get the job seekers used to the idea of saving what they did to an e-mail account so that no matter where they go, as long as they have access to the Internet, they will be able to pull up their resume or continue to work on job-related items. We also had an extra printer in the back that we were able to push into service so that job seekers can print off a nice copy of their resume if need be.
Q: How much did it cost?
A: The main cost has been the time needed to setup the computers and the printer. The Friends of the Tonganoxie Library donated money that they had raised through the Festival of Mini Trees and we are now able to offer to job seekers free printing of job-related materials and resumes. The money raised will also come in handy when it comes time to replace computer hardware and other materials.
Q: What other resources are available at the library for job seekers?
A: We have a variety of printed material, testing material, local and area newspapers, and online resources for job seekers. One of the things we will also have is a bulletin board that we will be posting local, regional, and state job information on. Hopefully, people will start to think of this area as one more place they can look when they need employment.
Q: What kind of response have you had from the public about these workstations?
A: So far, so good. The main part now is getting the word out and making sure that what help we can provide meets the job-seeking needs of the job seeker. A service that no one knows about won't help anyone. The hours for the job bank are pretty much any hour the library is open, and when there is not another planned event. The main hours we are focusing in are 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Right now we are looking for volunteers in the community who are willing to come in for an hour or two a week and be available to help people who might not have the computer skills needed in the new computerized job-hunting environment. Volunteers can reach the library at (913) 845-3281, or by sending me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.