Libraries and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

11.13.2014.  From the IMLS blog.

Libraries and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

Our agencies have long recognized the role of libraries to help meet the workforce training and job search needs of the American public.  At the height of the recession, more than 30 million people reported using library computers for workforce related needs and 3.7 million of them reported finding work.  Today, 96 percent of libraries surveyed offer online job and employment resources and 78 percent offer programs to help people apply for jobs.

In July, the President signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA) which strengthens and aligns Federal employment, education, and training servicesOverwhelmingly approved by both the House and the Senate, the legislation is the result of a bipartisan agreement that recognizes the vital role the workforce system plays in providing the services and resources job seekers need to access the kinds of skills training, career information, and education that are required for today’s job market. The Act aligns with and complements the President’s Vision for Job-Driven Workforce Development, as it prepares workers for 21st century jobs and ensures American businesses have skilled workers to be competitive in global economy.

We are pleased that WIOA includes several exciting changes that better align federal resources and call for local community-based partnerships to increase access to services.  WIOA explicitly identifies public libraries as potential partners of the American Job Center network, and acknowledges libraries’ ability to provide an expansive array of job search services. It also recognizes libraries as important providers of federally supported training and employment for adult education and literacy. WIOA instructs state and local workforce development boards to boost “digital literacy skills” at American Job Centers – a task perfectly suited to public libraries!

We are delighted that the role public libraries play in workforce development is being acknowledged. Every day, people in communities across the United States use libraries to access the Web for career development—boosting their skills through online learning, improving their English literacy and digital literacy, and finding work. Public libraries can do even more with better collaboration with state and local workforce boards.

We thank American Job Centers, the nation’s employment skills training programs, and public libraries for all they do to serve our nation’s job seekers and contribute to the country’s economic vitality.   Under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, we will deliver better coordinated services so that students and jobseekers acquire the skills needed in a competitive 21st century economy.

- See more at:

November 13, 2014 at 10:41 pm Leave a comment

Center for Community Progress

Community Progress exists to help meet the growing need in America’s cities and towns for effective, sustainable solutions to turn vacant, abandoned and problem properties into vibrant places.

October 8, 2014 at 12:12 pm Leave a comment

Ferguson infoPlaylist

Originally posted on Albert S. Cook Library @ TU:

14974784752_c08a246283_mMichael Brown, an unarmed African-American teenager, was shot and killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri (a suburb of St. Louis) on Saturday, August 9, 2014. The firestorm of protests and arrests that followed has led to nation-wide discussions about race, media coverage, policing, and the First Amendment of the Constitution. This infoPlaylist prepared by Librarians Joyce Garczynski and Megan Browndorf contains background information, news and social media coverage, analysis and opinions as well as the official responses related to these events.

Background Information

View original 357 more words

August 21, 2014 at 10:20 pm Leave a comment

Libraries in __The Vanishing Neighbor__

Once again libraries are not at the table in Marc J. Dunkelman’s  The Vanishing Neighbor: The Transformation of American Community  which discusses the isolation of Americans.

Not wanting to look at the facts of libraries and community engagement Dunkelman mainly ignores libraries and librarians.

book cover

He provides a few weak examples of  library use and non-use to illustrate various points  but it is discouraging after so many years of the library and community movement that  Dunkelman goes for the easy and glib broad-brush.

If, as Dunkelman posits, all you need to do is sit home and read online..HOW DID HE MISS THE LIBRARIANS AND COMMUNITY MOVEMENT? All he needed to do was google:

Librarians and Community.

Do not doubt this will be the topic of much conversation the coming months. One reviewer notes,

“After a panoramic view of how the United States has changed in so many ways, Marc Dunkelman argues that Americans are left with a sense of isolation from neighbors nearby: we keep ‘inner-ring’ relationships with family and close friends plus ‘outer-ring’ with Facebook friends we see infrequently, but we have lost middle-ring relationships with families down the street and a barber around the corner. Institutions, Dunkelman believes, must adapt to these new realities, nourishing a fresh sense of community. This is an insightful call for remembering what Tocqueville found best about America.” (David Gergen,  Harvard Kennedy School and senior political analyst, CNN)

in contrast see:

2009 Libraries Build Communities Volunteers

Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC) — an initiative of the American Library Association — seeks to strengthen librarians’ roles as core community leaders and change-agents.

The initiative addresses a critical need within the library field by developing and distributing new tools, resources and support for librarians to engage with their communities in new ways.

Or review the work of librarians on this blog  Librarians Build Communities. or the work of graduates of the Valdosta State University program on community building: Librarians Build Community.

See also work done by librarians:

Julie Biando Edwards, Melissa S. Robinson , Kelley Rae Unger. Transforming Libraries, Building Communities: The Community-Centered Library. – American Library Association 2013.

Hill, Chrystie. 
Inside, Outside, and Online: Building Your Library Community.
Publisher: ALA Editions. 2009.
Mccook, Kathleen de la Peña McCook. A Place at the Table: Participation in Community Building. American Library Association, 2002.

August 11, 2014 at 12:14 pm Leave a comment

Libraries in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)

A good article on the way libraries will be supported under this legislation is here:

Libraries, already helping job seekers, get government recognition — and funding

August 8, 2014 at 1:00 pm Leave a comment

Community Indicators Consortium

About the Community Indicators Consortium


Community Indicators Consortium


The Community Indicators Consortium   (CIC) was organized in the belief that information sharing, collaboration and open dialogue — across geography and disciplines — are key to the advancement of people, the quality of community life and the sustainability of our shared environment. To that end, CIC seeks bridges that span the gap between community indicators use and performance measurement, providing ways for community groups and governments to coordinate efforts and jointly enhance knowledge about the use of indicators to leverage positive change.

Through these activities, CIC has become a major node in the expanding field of community measurement. The CIC website offers a place where community-based practitioners, academic experts, engaged community residents, public officials, students, civic leaders, planners, media professionals and other stakeholders can learn from one another and participate in an active global learning community.

July 9, 2014 at 5:19 pm Leave a comment

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