Monday, October 12, 2015

Pew Report: Job Skill Building Services Remain Important

At a crossroad, courtesy Pixabay
At a crossroad, courtesy Pixabay
According to the recently published Pew Research Center Report - Libraries at the Crossroads, public library patrons continue to value the job skill-building and job search services their libraries offer.

While the most immediate and significant effects of the Great Recession may be diminishing, members of our communities continue to rely on public libraries for help finding and applying for jobs and building career-related skills.

Lower-income residents and members of communities of color are most likely to report that they depend on their public library as a source of support in building new job skills. African Americans, Hispanics, and those with incomes of $30,000 or less are more likely to say that libraries help people find jobs or pursue job training

More than 70% of survey respondents say libraries help people learn how to use new technologies. 39% of high school graduates and 38% of lower-income households (households with combined income of less than $30,000) say libraries help "a lot" in the area of new technology training.

Serving communities of color, courtesy Alternative-Right blogspot
Serving communities of color
courtesy Alternative-Right blogspot
Almost one quarter (23%) of survey respondents who paid a visit to a library in the past year were looking for or apply for a job.  In 2012, when the Great Recession was still exerting a major impact on Americans, 36% of patrons who used libraries were using job-search related tools or services.

14% of patrons logging on to the Intent using a library computer or internet connection were seeking to acquire job-related skills or to increase their income.

The survey found that 48% of American age 16 or older believe that libraries help people find jobs "a lot" or "somewhat."  58% of Hispanics say libraries help people find jobs (either "a lot" or "somewhat").  55% of African Americans say libraries play a job search role.  53% of households with incomes under $30,000 said libraries help with job searches.

14% of survey respondents who had visited a public library in person in the prior year were seeking to acquire job-related training to increase their income.  15% of survey respondents who visited the library in the prior 12 months went to search for or apply for a job.

Written by:
Martha Berninger, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning