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Libraries boost job search help

Todd Browder of Atascadero has worked in construction for 20 years. His last work was earthquake retrofitting in San Luis Obispo but with banks loaning less money construction has slowed down. He is checking various job listings at the Paso Robles library. Library staff say a waiting list to use the terminals forms every day.
David Middlecamp
3-1-10
Todd Browder of Atascadero has worked in construction for 20 years. His last work was earthquake retrofitting in San Luis Obispo but with banks loaning less money construction has slowed down. He is checking various job listings at the Paso Robles library. Library staff say a waiting list to use the terminals forms every day. David Middlecamp 3-1-10

Public libraries across the county have launched new services for job seekers as officials say demand for those services continues to increase.

In Paso Robles, job seekers often wait outside before the city library opens to get on its computers. Meanwhile, in San Luis Obispo, library staff offers one-on-one assistance for those looking for help at least one night a week.

“As unemployment figures rise, we see displaced workers in the library every day,” said Barbara Bilyeu, reference services librarian in Paso Robles.

Todd Browder of Atascadero, a longtime construction worker, was stationed at a computer on a recent afternoon as he looked into other careers. Openings for construction work are few these days, he said.

He was using a computer program the Paso Robles Library Foundation recently bought for about $1,600 to help local job seekers with resumes, job matching and preparing for occupation exams.

Meanwhile, other libraries across the county are providing aid as well. The Atascadero-Martin Polin Regional Library is hosting a free presentation this month on job search strategies. In San Luis Obispo, the City-County Library received so many recent inquiries from job seekers that it’s now in the middle of a three-part workshop for similar training at 995 Palm St.

“There has been a higher demand on how to find job search sites,” San Luis Obispo library manager Kristine Tardiff said.

There’s also usually some one-on-one assistance available on Tuesdays at the San Luis Obispo branch reference desk from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. And, a roughly $1,000 grant station subscription was donated to the library for those looking to change careers and start nonprofit organizations.

Other libraries in the county system also host events when they can, Tardiff added; such events are posted under the events link at www.slolibrary.org.

Those interested in the workshops or computer programs must first sign up for a library card. Then, the resources are free. The Paso Robles city library is independent of the county system of libraries.

Other county libraries have books on job placement subjects and can order books from other locations that might have more options.

Get help finding work

Several local venues help job seekers. Below are a few examples. SLO 211, the local aid referral line, can also link people to job resources. Dial 2-1-1.

Business & Career One-Stop Center, San Luis Obispo, 4111 Broad St., Suite A-4, 788-2631, www.slo-onestop.net

Business & Career One-Stop Center, Paso Robles, 2800 Buena Vista Drive, Building 4000, 237-3014, www.careeronestop.org

The Prado Day Center has job resources for the homeless including job counseling and computer access, 43 Prado Road, San Luis Obispo, 786-0617, www.pradodaycenter.org

Library resources:

Paso Robles City Library, 1000 Spring St., 237-3870. Look for the Job and Career Accelerator database link at www.prcity.com/library

San Luis Obispo City-County Library, “Job Hunting, Resume Writing & Interviewing Skills in Today’s Economy” series; 9 to 11 a.m. March 20 on resumes and cover letters, and 9 to 11 a.m. April 17 on interviewing. Limited to 15 people per session; register for one or all. Call 781-5989. 995 Palm St.

Atascadero Library, Job specialist discussion from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. March 18 at the Atascadero-Martin Polin Regional Library’s community room. Reservations are required. Call 461-6162. 6850 Morro Road

Tribune photographer David Middlecamp contributed to this report.

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