Public libraries across the country do more than lend books. They’re a community lifeline, providing dozens of social services to the public, including disaster assistance, telehealth access, tutoring and job guidance.
Every state in the country has libraries that provide at least some form of career assistance to patrons, according to the 2019 Rutgers University report, “Public Libraries: A Community’s Connection for Career Services.”
Researchers at the school’s John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development surveyed state libraries and interviewed local library staff to find out the types of career services they provide and the demand for them, among other questions. The report found that 88% of survey respondents from state libraries say there is a medium to high demand for career services.
“One of the main strengths that libraries have is they are trusted community partners. Residents know them,” said Stephanie Walsh, one of the co-authors of the report and a research project manager at the Heldrich Center.