Have you heard? The Library's free!


Harold Washington LIbrary. Photo/Wiki Commons

Maybe it's because I'm new to Chicago, but I can't believe how fantastic the libraries are here, especially for job seekers. Check out the career-related programs just for next week:

Sept. 8 at 6 p.m. they're offering a course in basic mouse and keyboard skills (free)  
Sept. 9 at 2 p.m. they're offering a Career Search Seminar (yep, free again) 
Sept. 9 at at 11 a.m. they're offering a program called "Ask A Career Expert" (costs nothing but a smile) 

Sept. 12 at 10 a.m., the Harold Washington Library Center is having an open house to show off their many resources for small business owners. (costs nada) 

Now here's the kicker: 

Grab your library card and click this link to access the library's Career Resources page.  Nearly everything on this page is accessible from home: free resume writing and cover letter advice, online databases for conducting research on the companies you're applying to, helpful job search web sites and even a virtual career coach. If you do actually go to the library, there's free WiFi.

"We are seeing a really big increase in the number of people coming in these days to use our services to look for a job," said Ruth Lednicer, director of marketing for the Chicago Public Library.

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Library patrons surf the Internet at the Harold Washington Library. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

In response to a large number of job seekers coming in to get advice from librarians about everything from posting a resume online to starting their own business, the library has increased programming to match those interests, Lednicer said. The library systems librarians are all trained to aid job seekers, she said, particularly the librarians at the Harold Washington Library Center who work in the fourth floor business and technology section.

"It's funny to see people rediscovering the library," she said.

And, yep, it's all free.


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  • Right on! Thanks for giving props to Chicago's Libraries! They're one of my favorite places to hang out and a great resource. CPL's are also having a great contest for fans and musicians in Sept: http://christophercatania.com/2009/09/04/will-you-sound-off-and-make-the-transformation/

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