Public libraries commonly play an important role in supporting those who stand outside labour markets and support the community. In fact, public libraries are a highly valuable resource for those who are searching for a job. Libraries give everyone access to their facilities as well as to an incredible amount of information, that otherwise might not be available to all.
Public libraries offer job seekers the opportunity to work more efficiently on finding a job, and therefore focus on this matter. This means that they have access to the necessary facilities and are considerably well equipped, which allows them to work efficiently on finding the right job.
Benefiting Online Resources
In most cases, public libraries provide free access to the Internet, where necessary information about employment can be found in bulk. They also provide job seekers with an online job database which is supposed to match them to available job positions.
Many libraries also offer useful advice and guidance about the best practices to follow in job search, and some might even offer workshops and free online classes on how to land a job.
For those who don’t have their own computer or other necessary devices, they should be able to access one at the library. Commonly, there are a few computers at every library open to public use.
Benefiting Offline Resources
As in all libraries, there is also a lot of information available in the form of hard copies, be it books, newspapers, or something else.
Local printouts such as newsletters and binders filled with job listings are important as well. Some libraries make manual printouts available, for instance on how to write a cover letter or tips about job interviews.
This is particularly important as it enables everyone to make use of as much available information as possible, regardless of their skills and abilities in using computers and other technologies.
Some people might also build up their network with others, by attending group courses regarding job search or by simply spending time at the library and socializing.
Benefits of Facilities
People can usually spend as much time as they want at the library, within the opening hours of course. Examples of how job seekers make use of the library’s facilities are; searching for job openings; working on their resumes; writing cover letters; or filling out application forms. This is of high value to many people who might not have the same work space elsewhere.
In public libraries, people have access to printers, copy machines, staplers and so on. Some libraries also provide access to silent reading rooms, a cafeteria and group-work rooms.
This however varies from library to library, as they are all equipped differently, and offer a variety of possibilities accordingly.
The Importance of Public Libraries from a Social Point of View
People who are unemployed are far from being the only ones who make use of libraries, even though they might be more resource-dependent than others.
In some cases, libraries do not have the resources to meet the demand of services and facilities in general. Not enough staff members, an inadequate level of expertise, and outdated equipment seem to be the most common problems libraries tend to face, which is often the result of budget shortages.
However, in most cases, public libraries are as highly valuable for communities as individuals without a job. In fact, the community should spend more tax money on services such as the ones offered by libraries, because it most definitely pays back many times.
Kristofer Pall Lentz is a business marketing enthusiast, currently working for Market Inspector, a B2B marketplace for businesses and institutions in Europe. He is also taking his master’s degree in Strategic Market Creation at Copenhagen Business School.