South Coastal Library offers free job search workshops

Date Published: 
February 14, 2014

Through May, the South Coastal Library will offer Delaware job-seekers and career-changers the chance to put their best foot forward when looking for their next job.

Sponsored by the Job Center @ Delaware Libraries, the traveling program offers to help those who want to boost their career opportunities, free of charge.

“I would love to see people coming in and using this program,” said Sue Keefe, director of the South Coastal Library.

Through grants, the Georgetown, Seaford, Dover and Wilmington public libraries were able to build job centers as a permanent fixture in their facilities.

“Each built in a job center, a computer classroom,” Keefe explained. “They are staffed by a person each during different time periods. They help people build résumés. They help them in their job search. They help them with tips on how to get through a job interview. All these things they do, and they’ll actually sit down and work with you.”

Keefe said that, over the last year, the program has grown so much that it is now expanding remotely to other facilities.

“They have been in at least a year now and have gotten to a point where not only can they run the four stationary sites, but in the hours that they’re not there, they can do outreach.”

Job search workshops will be held in the Bethany Beach library’s computer classroom on the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month, through May. The next session will be held Feb. 25, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Admission to the workshops is free, and no registration is required.

Keefe noted that the outreach comes at a time when many employers are no longer accepting physical applications, but rather only those submitted electronically.

“So many places now, you can only apply online. We’ve had a lot of people coming in, wanting to apply to Giant. They walked into the store only to be told, ‘Go to your library and apply online,’” she said, adding that other area employers, such as Lowe’s and Tanger Outlets, also have online applications. “I have a feeling it goes on a lot more than we think.”

According to Keefe, many online applications, once a résumé is uploaded, will change formatting, which could make the résumé unreadable to the scanner that processes it.

“It’s something you normally wouldn’t think about,” she said. “They’ll be here to help guide anyone who’s interested through the process.”

Keefe said that, although the area has a growing population of retirees, there are still those who are in need of work who are having difficulty finding it.

“I don’t know if we’ll have as much use as other places, given the retired population, but I also know there are a lot of people who aren’t retired, who aren’t wealthy, and this really could help them,” she said. “A lot of people have lost their jobs or their incomes don’t match what expenses are. It’s a different community than you might think. Everybody’s here, and everybody could use a hand.”

Keefe added that, although has been a troubling economic climate, she hopes the library can do its share to help the community in whatever way it can.

“I hope it helps people. I think it will. It might take a little while to get the word out, but I know the people I’ve met from the job center have been very helpful. I know, in the places where they actually have them built in, like Seaford, there are people waiting to get in when they open,” she said.

“I really hope we can help. You don’t know until you try.”

The South Coastal Library is located at 43 Kent Avenue in Bethany Beach. For more information, call (302) 539-5231 or visit them online at http://southcoastal.lib.de.us.