IMLS grant will sustain effort to help libraries assist the unemployed
DUBLIN, Ohio, USA, 23 June 2010—The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has awarded OCLC WebJunction and the State Library of North Carolina (SLNC) a grant to continue work to provide library-based employment services and programs to assist the unemployed.
The $940,750 grant will fund work to conduct an impact and needs assessment on unemployment in all United States regions, and create a corresponding curriculum that can be tailored to meet local needs so that libraries are better equipped to meet the needs of the unemployed.
WebJunction, OCLC's online learning community for library staff, and SLNC will conduct a train-the-trainer workshop and up to 75 local workshops for public library staff working in the highest unemployment areas. They will deliver presentations at local conferences and make a free version of the workshop available online, in addition to hosting a Web site for ongoing communication among state libraries.
This project follows a previous IMLS funded project launched by WebJunction and SLNC to gather and share best practices for providing library-based employment services and programs.
"The State Library of North Carolina is looking forward to working with WebJunction and our partner libraries as they continue to deliver innovative and effective services and programs for their communities," said Jennifer S. Pratt, Chief of Library Development, State Library of North Carolina.
"WebJunction is eager to continue work with the State Library of North Carolina to help libraries help the unemployed," said Chrystie Hill, OCLC Director of Community Service. "This project will enhance libraries’ ability to provide stable, sustainable infrastructure for their communities’ economic recovery."
"Library services are in great demand as evidenced by the growing numbers of patrons turning to the library to meet their education, workforce, and health information needs," said Marsha L. Semmel, Acting Director of IMLS. "At the same time, information technology has transformed library service and opened the doors to innovation so that libraries can reach diverse people more effectively. In this fast-changing environment, providing training and educational support for librarians and library staff is more important than ever."
The IMLS grant was one of 38 Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grants awarded totaling $22,623,984.
About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. To learn more about the Institute, please visit www.imls.gov.
Since 2003, WebJunction has helped more than 50,000 library staff build their job skills by partnering with state library agencies and other library service organizations to deliver cost-effective staff training and development programs. WebJunction’s vision is to be the place where the library profession gathers to build the knowledge, skills, and support it needs to power relevant, vibrant libraries. Based in Seattle, Washington, and Dublin, Ohio, WebJunction is supported in part by OCLC, grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the library community. More information is available at www.webjunction.org.
Founded in 1967, OCLC is a nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world’s information and reducing library costs. More than 72,000 libraries in 171 countries have used OCLC services to locate, acquire, catalog, lend, preserve and manage library materials. Researchers, students, faculty, scholars, professional librarians and other information seekers use OCLC services to obtain bibliographic, abstract and full-text information when and where they need it. OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the world’s largest online database for discovery of library resources. Search WorldCat on the Web at www.worldcat.org. For more information, visit www.oclc.org.
This work is licensed under a  Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License