Libertyville library helps unemployed find jobs

January 10, 2012 2:58:43 PM PST
For many people who are unemployed, the neighborhood library is a great resource. Now, one suburban library is going one step further to help people looking for a job.

When the Cook Park Library reopened after a renovation last summer, there was lots of interest, especially with 50 new computers. The economic downturn brought even more visitors to the Libertyville library to get help finding work.

"Media is there, technology is there," said Cook Memorial Public Library District's Stephen Kershner. "Leverage it, use it to your advantage. During these tougher economic times, these challenging times, we are your community resource."

The library also added job training classes last year.

"I've always loved the library, so I come here anyway just to research," said Ellen Peckler, "and I thought, What better place to research job possibilities?"

"It's a big plus to have it here, and since they remodeled, they have a lot more computers to use," said Michael Page.

Employment specialists with the Countryside Association received a grant to offer job seeking assistance at the library.

"A library is a great place to meet people and to talk to people. It's quiet, so you have that time and place to study, and take your time without a lot of distractions, and also there are abundant resources," said employment specialist Michael Garamoni.

Classes focus on networking, interviewing techniques and making full use of an online job search.

For a mother ready to return to the workforce, this was just right.

"I'm starting a job search, my kids are in high school now and not sure how to go back into the workforce as far as looking for jobs," said Debbie Engdahl.

"I would like to get back into the workforce, and I need all the help that I can get, and the library is offering this for free, and it's really a great thing," said Ethel Pickar.

There are openings for the Cook Park Library job training classes starting in February. But, chances are, a library near you may be able to help your job search. The American Library Association finds 80 percent of Illinois libraries offer job-seeking resources.