Career Center Blog

May 5, 2009

Look to your library for job search help


These days, job seekers are looking for every possible online tool to find steady employment. But, as many readers have pointed out to me, one of the best, most overlooked tools has been around since the founding of our nation: the public library. If you haven't visited one recently, this week is a good time to drop in.

Sensitive to the needs of the many people looking for work in recent months, the King County Library System (KCLS) has launched a promotion called Look to Your Library, offering a host of job search tools and employment seminars. For the rest of this week, through this Friday, 41 of the county's 44 branches -- all but Kirkland, Tukwila and Skykomish -- are opening an hour early to accommodate extra visitors (times vary by location so check the KCLS site for details).

All branches are also setting aside the first two hours of each day to provide free demonstrations of the library system's career research capabilities. According to Marsha Iverson, public relations specialist with KCLS, this addition of more than 300 extra "open hours" also comes at no added taxpayer cost--the staff merely adjusted their schedules to handle the increased hours.

Those who remember libraries as airless rooms full of old books and dusty card catalogs may be surprised to see the high-tech array of computer terminals and job search tools in King County's system. And, of course, all services are free, although some resources require users to secure a library card.

On the KCLS Web site, the Searching For a Job button provides lists of job-search resources, networking sites, business research databases and résumé-builder software providers. For the growing numbers of people who've suffered an involuntary job loss, the Just Laid Off button points you toward not only valuable unemployment benefit information, but also financial assistance, stress management and worker retraining seminars.

For more information, see the library system's More Resources and Events to explain the various employment seminars, workshops and other educational programs offered. Be sure to use those extra library hours while you can this week.

Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.

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Hi there Randy,

Excellent article about the use of libraries. I use them for my research on my job search seminars. I have all that information packed into a 2 hour seminar if folks don't want to spend all the time I spent researching.

Thanks for mentioning me today in your blog last week. I could use all the help I can in getting the word out on my seminars starting tomorrow morning, May 6th and 7th at 10am, 1:30 and 5pm at the Best Western Hotel Emerald Suites in Federal Way, WA. They are each 2 hours long and now have a new component to them you won't find at the library, worksource, or the community colleges.

After talking with you last week, it dawned on me that people have too much anxiety about the job search to leave the comforts of sitting at a computer in a safe room.

So, I changed the focus and the name of the workshops to "The Job Search for Introverts" and "Shy Job Seekers."

I wrote a book in 2006 named, Harnessing Your Fear of Public Speaking, and the same principles apply. Those who are nervous about speaking in front of groups are similar-if not the same--in fears, anxiety, and nervousness as those looking for jobs and going to interviews.

So, I will take time in the workshops to talk about this issue and give them plenty of tips to manage (or in my words, harness) that anxiety to work for them rather than work against them.

There is no physical difference between an adrenalin rush (which people like and why people go on rides at fairs, play sports, involved in performing arts, etc,) and nervousness. It is simply our attitudes and how we think about the thing we are about to do.

You should come to one of the seminars and see how we do things differently to increase the job seekers' effectiveness.

Rod Mattson

Hey... I read your information from begining to the end and I think that is interesting information.. I think i will tell this information again to my friend and I hope this information will be usefull for them... oh yes I suggest you to check Are you looking for a job on my site , I hope the Information on my site will be usefull for you..and we can share each other. thank you... :-)

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Karen Burns Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, a career guide based on her 59 jobs over 40 years in 22 cities.

Kristen Fife Kristen Fife is a senior recruiter, career mentor, blogger and resume consultant based in the Seattle area.

Lisa Quast Lisa Quast is a certified career coach, mentor, business consultant, former corporate executive and author based in the Seattle area.

Randy Woods Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.

Former contributors

Matt Youngquist is the president of Career Horizons, a career counseling firm.

Natalie Singer is a Seattle writer, editor and small-business owner.

Michelle Goodman is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide."


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