Project Compass Overview: Year Two
Project Compass: Libraries lead the workforce for the 21st century
With the award of a follow-on grant from IMLS, WebJunction and the State Library of North Carolina (SLNC) are continuing their Project Compass work to bolster library-based employment services and programs to assist library staff in guiding the struggling workforce. The team will build on the partnerships and momentum created in the first year of our successful work with state libraries and public library staff.
WHAT WE’RE DOING IN THE FOLLOW-ON PROJECT
Initially, the project will work directly with selected state libraries, based on rates of unemployment and the number of libraries within critical needs areas, to deliver local workforce recovery workshops to public library staff. To that end, we will
- Deliver a “train-the-trainer” institute
In early 2011, WebJunction and SLNC will provide the curriculum and training to enable approximately 20 trainers to deliver workforce recovery workshops in critical needs areas.
- Support approximately 75 local workforce recovery workshops
The project will provide funding, resources, and consultation to trainers delivering local workforce recovery workshops to library staff.
While local workshops will only take place in critical need areas, the program was designed to reach across the nation with support and resources for all public library staff serving the unemployed by
- Publishing workshop curriculum and all project materials on WebJunction.org
- Producing local programs such as conference presentations at state or regional gatherings
- Delivering free workforce recovery webinars.
BUILDING ON THE FIRST YEAR
In the first year of Project Compass, we gathered ideas, concerns, and experiences from state library staff to understand how we can help libraries move forward. This input guided our approach to creating the programs and services for the second phase of Project Compass. We learned that
- Public library staff want to increase their knowledge of available resources and to handle the service needs of unemployed and job-seeking patrons. They feel re-energized and supported by a network of peers with whom they can share resources and program ideas.
- Training and resources to support patron learning are vital, along with enhanced online connectivity, workstation availability, and quick, easy solutions to make such training possible.
- Many libraries have successfully partnered with outside agencies to meet patron needs, and staff are eager to learn about other partnership models to further augment services.
- In the face of budget cuts, libraries strive to better articulate their value, particularly as demand continues to outstrip staff resources.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Betha Gutsche, Program Manager, at guscheb [at] oclc.org or 206.336.9203, or Zola Maddison, Project Coordinator, at maddisoz [at] oclc.org or 206.336.9207.
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