Livermore library offers career help

June 30, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
There's only one place in the Bay Area where you can get career counseling while checking out a book. The city of Livermore's library is now offering free help to those struggling in this down economy.

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At a resume writing workshop in Livermore, career counselor Megan Pittsley wants everyone to walk out with a strong resume and then afterward, they can check out a book since the job center is located in the city's public library.

"We're the community information center," says supervising librarian Rosemary Dukelow.

When the job market started slowing, the library got busier. Librarians were spending less time helping people find books and more time helping with job searches.

"Librarians have to know a little bit about everything, but we really can't get down and help give them counseling about what they need to do at a job interview," says Dukelow.

A combination of grant dollars and donations paid for the part-time job center and a counselor. That counselor now spends most of her time helping laid off baby boomers.

Right now, the unemployment rate in Alameda County is 10.7 percent and in this area, major employers like Safeway Corporate and Lawrence Livermore Labs have had layoffs involving thousands of people.

"So I help teach them the technology, skills and updates, and where recruiters actually go to look for employees, and how to upload their resumes on lots of different job sites," says Pittsley.

Diana Weaver, an unemployed operations manager, didn't know any of that before coming to the Livermore Library.

"It's really important that you are online, you're computer savvy, you understand and can use LinkedIn," says Weaver.

The library applied for more grant dollars to keep the job center open full-time, but they will find out their answer by Wednesday.

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