Times are so bad that even the Cat is getting concerned about her supply of heavy cream. But she feels really proud of the humans she has adopted and the ways they are trying to help.
There has been a lot of coverage lately about libraries being heavily used in hard times. That they offer recreation, entertainment, stimulation and comfort is very, very welcome. But with the head-on collision of the Great Recession and the Information Age, it is critical that they also offer REAL HELP to people who are in REAL trouble.
Public libraries give people a place to find information. They provide a place to search for job openings and to write cover letters and resumes. They have good material, online and in the collection, on how to write good resumes and cover letters.
Two of the largest job sites are:
They have job listings in many fields, sample resumes and cover letters, and places to post resumes.
Public librarians are also most likely to know about local job resources and job listings. Local Job Wizard is often a good way to get to geographically-specific information:
Job listings in specific Kansas communities can also be found at:
Librarians should also remind job-seeking library users of the benefits of networking through the community and of social networking.
Some libraries have set up support groups to help the unemployed network and offer each other comfort and help.
Information on unemployment benefits in Kansas may be found at:
SPECIAL HELP FOR SENIORS
Help for seniors can often be found through the Kansas Area Agencies on Aging. Their website may be found at:
It is also good for librarians to be able to offer some information to those worried about foreclosure. Kansas ranks 35th on foreclosures, which is not bad news, but also not really good news.
The Attorney General’s page on foreclosure is available at:
The HUD information and resources page is available at:
HUD approved housing counseling agencies in Kansas offer information for those trying to find affordable or emergency housing. They are available at:
NETWORKING FOR LIBRARIANS
If individuals dealing with unemployment and other problems need to network, it is equally true that the librarians trying to help their people need to use each other as a resource. If you are having trouble finding the information your users need, you can get help through questions on KANLIB-L and PUBLIB-L. Another librarian may have already found the resource you need.
Librarians need to comfort and sustain each other so they won’t lose the ability to offer comfort, as well as information, to their library users.
Librarians who spend extra time trying to help the members of their community hit by the financial crisis certainly deserve a purr from the