On September 10, 2009, IMLS announced a grant awarded to WebJunction and the State Library of North Carolina to support public libraries’ efforts to meet the urgent and growing demands of our communities as they struggle with the loss of jobs and the needs of the unemployed. The team chose the name of Project Compass as an apt metaphor for the intention of assessing the present situation of workforce development in libraries and for setting direction toward future recovery. The compass is also symbolic of the direction that libraries provide to their patrons and their communities, especially in turbulent times. There is abundant evidence that people are turning to libraries as to the North Star, depending on this community institution to provide guidance through the economic downturn.
Libraries have already responded to the critical needs, creating or augmenting multiple and robust resources and services. The variety of responses to the Library Responses to Economic Tough Times survey brings to light the energetic guidance that is emanating from libraries all over the country. Highlights of the survey responses are captured in the Compass Survey Summary; the details of individual state responses may be read in the collection of Compass Snapshots for each state.
If you have followed any of these links, you’ve had a glimpse of what is a budding resource on WebJunction. In addition to the Project Compass section, which will collect information pertinent to the project and participants, there is a new Workforce Resources topic. This nascent topic area will grow over the coming year. We hope that everyone involved in workforce development issues will help that growth. We are interested in contributions on tools, resources, and services that any library—large or small, state or local— has deployed toward workforce recovery.
WebJunction’s January webinar will focus on Libraries and Workforce Recovery.
Join us on January 28 to learn about successful library programs and best practices that address the increase in patron job-related needs. You’ll hear about strategies for triaging social services and how to analyze your library’s services in relation to existing community social services. You’ll discover new ways to create partnerships with community agencies to leverage workforce development efforts. Finally, you’ll get tips on tactics that can be implemented on a shoestring or non-existent budget to respond to patron workforce development needs.
Register to attend: http://evanced.info/webjunction/evanced/eventsignup.asp?ID=1630
As the Project Compass Coordinator, I welcome everyone’s questions, suggestions, ideas, etc.