In hard times, they have become centers of access to information, communities, and jobs.
By Amy Dougherty
"A recently released report by the Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board, "Help Wanted: Knowledge Workers Needed," included a stunning statistic: Almost 50 percent of the citizens of Philadelphia lack the basic skills needed to perform in a knowledge-based economy. Given that, our state and city leaders have shown a remarkable lack of vision in threatening to reduce library services.
We need to enlarge our workforce by teaching workers the skills that will enable them and the city to make the transition to the new economy. And the infrastructure to do so already exists in our libraries.
Recent data show that Americans are flocking to local libraries, often waiting in long lines for help and computer time. They are searching for employment, job-training information, and, if they are able, rewriting their resumes. Librarians are the new career counselors, sometimes taking the brunt of patrons' frustrations and fears in these turbulent times."
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