Library Services for Job Seekers: “Project Compass Lights a Path to Workforce Recovery”

Posted on January 23, 2012 by


Project Compass is a partnership between OCLC, the State Library of North Carolina, and IMLS.

From the Web Junction Site:

With a follow-on grant awarded by IMLS in October 2010, Project Compass turned its focus to training frontline library staff, providing them with strategies and resources to enhance their services to job seekers and other workforce recovery efforts. Read about the results of those efforts and how your library can use the curriculum to strengthen and improve services.

From the Report:

Project Compass, funded by a grant from IMLS, first launched in the fall of 2009 to investigate job seekers’ specific demands on public libraries and what could be done to address their needs more effectively, particularly through state library initiatives. Over the course of four regional summits, state and public library leaders gathered to develop new insights about potential new partners for libraries and strategies to create successful collaborations with workforce agencies. Summit participants confirmed the variety of library services delivering support to the workforce, including legal and foreclosure support, workforce retraining, essential and social services access, basic technology skills and online access to government information. They also shared the realities of staff feeling overwhelmed by the influx of demands and insufficiently prepared to meet new challenges and devise new approaches to service.

With a follow-on grant awarded in October 2010, Project Compass turned its focus to training frontline staff, providing them with strategies and resources to enhance their services to job seekers and other workforce recovery efforts. The intent was to build upon existing endeavors, to renew their sense of purpose, and refresh their ideas about how to help patrons cope with the difficult challenges instigated by the economic recession. Over the course of the year, the project team developed curriculum and delivered direct training to more than 2,000 library staff. An independent evaluation of the project affirms that “as a result of participating in Project Compass, library staff members across the country are now more strongly equipped than ever…to develop and deliver services that are relevant and needed in today’s complex economic landscape.”

Direct to Complete Report (20 pages; PDF)

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