There are over 1 million New Jersey residents unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent article from NJ.com. If you have recently experienced a job loss, are attempting to navigate the unemployment process, looking to explore a new career, hoping to learn something new, striving to start your own business, or are in need of research help, the Somerset County Library System of New Jersey (SCLSNJ) is available to assist you virtually.
SCLSNJ’s Somerset County Means Employment Job Seekers Initiative, in cooperation with their Somerset County partners including the Somerset County Business Partnership (SCBP), have put together a team of expert staff to meet the needs of job seekers as well as referrals to community partners for extended or enhanced services; a virtual series of Library programs; online learning resources including expert-led, interactive courses; employment resources; and more.
“One of SCLSNJ’s core services focuses on creating opportunities that build Somerset County’s economic and workforce development,” said Manuela Miracle, adult services supervisor. “Helping our patrons meet their career goals now and always remains a priority for all staff. “That looks like a comprehensive list of tools, services, and programming designed to meet job seekers wherever they are in their process.”
“SCLSNJ is dedicated to assisting the community,” said Jennifer Sulligan, adult services librarian. “The dedication and expertise of SCLSNJ staff and the system’s close working relationship with community partners allows us to provide expert programming to job seekers through workshops, online training, and live-streams. We provide up-to-date content about unemployment, as well as job readiness training via our online Job Seekers page, a curated guide to library, federal, state and county information.”
The American Library Association (ALA) reported that “job-seeking resources are among the most critical and most in demand among the technology resources available in U.S. public libraries.” The report explains that “two-thirds of public libraries help patrons complete online job applications; provide access to job databases and other online resources (88 percent), and civil service exam materials (75 percent); and offer software or other resources (69 percent) to help patrons create resumes and other employment materials.”
Recently, the ALA also stated that “libraries are shown to be on the front lines addressing societal and community challenges.”
“The pandemic of 2020 has triggered unprecedented economic difficulties and SCLSNJ’s Job Seekers Task Force is responding by helping our customers keep current with employment trends,” said Elizabete Pata, adult services librarian. “If you are feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, one of our most valuable resources is our staff who are available for you virtually. Email, chat, text, or schedule a personalized 30 minute virtual appointment with an SCLSNJ Expert. We can assist you with your education, professional development, and career needs.”
Virtual services are available:
- Monday- Thursday from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
- Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- Sundays 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Book an SCLSNJ expert today: sclsnj.org/research-learn/ask-a-librarian.
SCLSNJ offers a large collection of online learning resources that focus on a multitude of subjects, which are available in self-learning paces as well as structured schedules.
“It’s helpful to consider your learning style, available amount of time, and what you wish to study when you’re choosing which one of our online learning resources to use,” said Linda Tripp, collection development librarian. “If you’re exploring new career options or wish to gain new skills, but don’t have a lot of time, you may prefer the video courses offered in Gale’s Udemy collection, or from Lynda.com. If you prefer a guided approach to learning, Gale Courses offers classes in business, technology, law, teaching, writing, and the arts; many in Healthcare and Medicine even lead to certification. It’s almost like taking a class at a community college, but in a shorter, six-week period of time.”
Discover these online learning resources and more with your Library card:
- Ferguson’s Career Guidance Center: Explore industries and careers, plan your education, and/or find your career.
- Gale Courses: An extensive catalog of interactive, instructor-led courses with new sessions starting each month for a six-week period.
- Gale Presents – Udemy: Pre-recorded courses taught by top-rated industry experts in over 75 categories.
- LearningExpress Library: Skill building and test preparation for professionals and students.
- Lynda.com: An online video learning platform that offers business, software, technology, and creative skills classes.
- ReferenceUSA: Search for jobs and research companies.
In addition to the one-on-one services and online learning resources, SCLSNJ is also hosting a few programs for job seekers.
Explore job seekers programs from home with your Library
- Creating a Dynamic Job Portfolio: June 10, 7-8:30 p.m. Discover how to create an effective job portfolio with Jan Goodman, community outreach specialist from the Greater Raritan One-Stop Career Center. Learn more: sclsnj.libnet.info/event/4332957.
- Explore LinkedIn With a Librarian: June 25, 2-3 p.m. Discover how to use LinkedIn, the primary social media platform for job networking. Learn more: sclsnj.libnet.info/event/4332232.
“We want job seekers to know that we are cheering them on and hoping to help them move forward confidently,” said Miracle.
#BeSafeAtHome and explore programs, resources, and more for job seekers with SCLSNJ: sclsnj.org/virtual-job-seeker-and-unemployment-resources.