Job-Seekers, Others Rediscover Free Technology, Resources at Local Libraries
Technology resources at your public library are being used more than ever now, mostly due to the harsh problems associated with the recession, according to local libraries as well as the American Library Association.
The association released a report this week that showed 66 percent of public libraries nationwide rank job-seeking services, including resume writing and Internet job searches, as the most crucial online services they offer. ThatAEs up 44 percent from two years ago.
Libraries have become crucial technology hubs for people needing free Web access and the power behind it.
"Like many libraries across the country, Illinois libraries reported an increase in their Internet connection speeds over the previous year," said ALA spokeswoman Macey Morales.
It wasnAEt enough, however, to keep up with demand. About 38 percent of public libraries report their Internet connection speeds are adequate to meet patron demands at all times of the day, compared with 55 percent that reported this was the case in the 2007-2008 report, she said.
Illinois libraries also reported a big jump in helping patrons understand and use online information: 77 percent this year, compared with 63 percent last year.
The Arlington Heights Memorial Library also knows much of this firsthand.
Arlington Heights started Internet-related job search programs earlier this year, including e-Resumes, "Beyond Monster.com," and "Introduction to e-Mail." It also started a special jobs desk that offers classes regarding online forms and other programs.
Since March, 1,172 people had questions related to finding a job, 255 sought resume reviews and 92 attended the "Beyond Monster. …