New York Public Library Debuts Employment Center

By Staff Report

Apr. 15, 2009

The New York Public Library is morphing into a headhunter of sorts.

In an effort to meet public need during the recession, the library on Tuesday, April 14, unveiled Job Search Central, a new space at the Science Industry and Business Library at East 34th Street and Madison Avenue.

The center, located on the library’s lower level, has 11 computers equipped with special programs for job seekers, and roving librarians trained to help with everything from writing cover letters to creating a résumé.

In addition, the library has added more than 1,000 career-related classes system-wide and is providing special training to at least one staff member in each of its 87 branches to help people look for work.

“In tough economic times, more and more New Yorkers are turning to libraries for critical services like help finding a job,” said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

Indeed. In the last nine months, attendance at the library’s existing career-related classes jumped by 82 percent, with 38 percent of the program attendees unemployed and looking for work, library officials said. Overall, visits to the library jumped 13 percent in 2008.

In addition to the new center, the library recently launched a new Web site with access to subscription databases and a live chat that connects users 24 hours a day with a librarian who can help them find classes and databases or teach them how to file for unemployment benefits.

Filed by Miriam Kreinin Souccar of Crain’s New York Business, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail

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