The Public Library – A Job-Seeker’s Best Friend

Technology is everywhere these days. It’s hard to get any sort of job that doesn’t require at least a basic knowledge of e-mail and word processing programs. Any position working with data generally requires using Excel, and many administrative positions require someone familiar with PowerPoint and Publisher.

If you’ve been out of the workforce for a while, or your previous positions didn’t require using these programs, how are you supposed to learn? One resource that many people don’t consider is the public library. Libraries across the country now offer classes, ranging from computer basics like typing to more complex topics such as using PowerPoint to create presentations. Some localities offer more advanced classes like digital photography and grant writing. Certain libraries even offer one-on-one tutoring with a teacher. Best of all, classes at public libraries are almost always free, although some require you to have a current library card for that locality.

Perhaps you already have strong fundamental computer skills, but you need to learn a certain program in order to get the job you want. Let’s say, for instance, that you’re interested in going into project management, but you don’t know how to use Microsoft Project. A simple solution? Check out Microsoft Project for Dummies from the public library. If you’re in marketing and want to break into e-marketing, there are also books like The Truth About Search Engine Optimization. If you’re going into business for yourself for the first time, books such as Legal Guide for Starting and Running a Small Business can be a valuable resource.

In addition to offering classes and books on numerous technology topics, almost all public libraries provide Internet access, with many offering wifi as well. If you live in a smaller town with no businesses such as a Kinko’s nearby, the library is also an excellent resource for printing and copying services. As an added bonus, libraries frequently have mailboxes outside, allowing you to immediately send your resumes on their way.

Your local public library contains many low-cost resources for your job search. Whether or not finances are tight during your job search, the library can be your best friend!