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					PROJECT COMPASS: Libraries lead the workforce for the 21st Century
Ideas from Gainesville, May 10, 2011

                              IDEA GENERATORS FROM GAINESVILLE

1.     Host a job fair in your library.
2.     Create a step-by-step checklist for the newly unemployed – targeted to your area.
       Consider breaking the checklist down into two or three parts: “Job search 101, Job
       search 102,” etc.
3.     Host a job “mixer” and/or a “small business” mixer – be the “mixer” people!
4.     Create a “thank you” card that patrons can fill out to communicate the value of your
       library to your local and state officials. Have patrons drop them off back at the library for
       the branch manager to forward to legislators and other officials (cards and postage paid
       for by Friends of the Library).
5.     Create a small business resource checklist.
6.     Host a workshop on social networking for businesses – how to advertise with it, etc.
7.     Invite a banker to present a financial workshop.
8.     Find out with whom my library collaborates in our community – expand that reach.
9.     Keep and update a list of places like food banks, churches, Catholic charities,, etc.
10.    Host a workshop on how to build a website.
11.    Hold monthly couponing classes – and brainstorm other ways to save money. Include
       information on budgeting, investing, etc. Create a coupon club.
12.    Provide a “generic” application for patrons to carry out on job searches.
13.    Offer a suggestion box on “What I need to know” or “What I need help with to assist in
       my job search.”
14.    Allow our job seekers to help us evaluate our services and collections.
15.    Collect business cards from local businesses and/or offer a directory of our local small
16.    Gather donations from local businesses to give away, giving those businesses
       recognition – acknowledge them by putting up signs thanking them for supporting the
17.    Structure our library collection to be geared to user groups (small business, job seekers,

PROJECT COMPASS: Libraries lead the workforce for the 21st Century
Ideas from Gainesville, May 10, 2011

18.    When offering workshops/programs targeted to workforce recovery, have books and
       resources readily available at the workshop (on a cart in the same room).
19.    Conduct a workshop to help small businesses market themselves by creating flyers, etc.
20.    Research Pell grants and other education resources – requirements, etc., and have that
       information available to those interested in continuing education and re-training.
21.    Hold a mini-workshop on volunteer opportunities to help job seekers in their quest to
22.    Brainstorm with staff to uncover ways to find time to give more focus to workforce
       recovery plans/programs.
23.    Hang a bulletin board for local businesses to promote themselves – set parameters in
24.    Organize and host a job club at the library.
25.    Hang a “card rack” displaying business cards of local small businesses.
26.    Collaborate with our local Workforce Board – “What are you already doing? What can
       we do to help?”
27.    Find a way to help job seekers assess their skills – how can their skills transfer to
       another job?
28.    Collaborate with United Way, SCORE.
29.    Create a “help wanted” board, not just for non-profit. Ask our Board to allow us to
       extend it to for-profit businesses.
30.    Find resources on transportation and hand out bookmarks or flyers.
31.    Hold a “Check Your Credit, Because Employers Will” workshop and make sure
       attendees know about (and that they should NOT use
32.    Ask a financially savvy teen to present a “personal finance” workshop class for other
       teens. Partner with schools, banks, consumer credit counseling agencies, extension
       services, etc., to make it the cool thing to do.
33.    Offer ‘one stop” centers at key library locations by training specific staff and volunteers
       to assist job seekers at set times.
34.    Use a “Coffee at the Library” time to hold workshops that might otherwise seem
       intimidating to job seekers, small businesses, or those who need help with finances.

PROJECT COMPASS: Libraries lead the workforce for the 21st Century
Ideas from Gainesville, May 10, 2011

35.    Have a list of “2-1-1” resources available that includes mental health resources.
36.    Conduct a workshop entitled, “Is Your Job at Risk? Steps You Can Take to Lessen the
       Blow.” Another possible title: “Before You Lose Your Job – Steps You Can Take to Be
37.    Create a workshop with “motivational speakers” who can offer real-life help in how to
       stay positive in a tough situation.
38.    Set up a wiki to regularly share ideas and resources with neighboring counties’ libraries.
39.    Conduct a “mock interview” workshop.
40.    Set out a self-serve coupon basket – patrons can add and take as they wish.
41.    Ask banks to donate “finance” books.
42.    Update website with “finance” links.
43.    Offer copies free to job seekers when those copies are related to finding work.
44.    Find a way to help staff remember that empathy and compassion go a long way when
       people are under stress.
45.    Conduct simple surveys about patrons’ likes and dislikes about the library to help us
       understand their needs.
46.    Find resources for prescription help and make a list available – add other “health-
       oriented” resources. Example:
47.    Research other helpful resources such as if there are any gas cards available through
       Workforce or some other agency.
48.    Conduct a “Prepare for Retirement – BEFORE You Retire” workshop.
49.    Conduct a “shop local” campaign – collaborate with Chamber of Commerce and other
50.    Ask “regular” people to share their “rags to riches” success stories regarding getting
       their personal finances under control – hold a workshop celebrating those successes
       while helping others learn how to do the same thing.
51.    Offer “one-on-one” consultations for job seekers – consider having them schedule an
       appointment with one of our staff.
52.    Ask for donations from “stable” businesses to give away at workshops (encourage
       attendance in hopes of getting something free!).
53.    Find new ways to communicate what we are doing to help.

PROJECT COMPASS: Libraries lead the workforce for the 21st Century
Ideas from Gainesville, May 10, 2011

54.    Create placemats featuring library and other resources and offer them to local
       restaurants. Try to find someone (Friends of the Library? Local businesses?) to
       sponsor the cost of the placemats. Unemployed people may not be eating out, but their
       friends still are and they can pass the information along.
55.    Collaborate with the extension service to create “community gardens.”
56.    Conduct a “dress for success” workshop entitled, “You wore WHAT?? How to Dress to
       Cinch the Interview” - consider including skits to add humor and lighten the tone.
57.    Sponsor a “fix a car” day.
58.    Ask local gardeners and farmers to donate excess produce and have a “giveaway day.”
59.    Start a “Lunch at the Library” program offering a variety of different topics. Be
60.    Offer a “local vendor fair” featuring local small businesses.
61.    Create a special area of the library where people can come specifically to ask questions
       about job search, personal finances, etc.
62.    Find resources for daycare so people can look for a job without bringing the kids.
63.    Partner with a clothing store or thrift store to offer vouchers for “1 interview outfit.”


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