Yes, books and reading and anything that involves words on actual paper are totally screwed. But that doesn’t mean New York City libraries aren’t valuable!
That was kind of the message behind Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s announcement this morning that he is expanding the city’s efforts to help unemployed New Yorkers find jobs through partnerships with public libraries.
“A lot of people…say, ‘What do you need libraries for? After all, books can be online. You don’t have to go any place,’ but that’s much too parochial a view of what libraries do,” Bloomberg said at a press conference this morning at the Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza. “Libraries do a lot of things. I think this is another example of the potential to use libraries for people that are intellectually curious, people that need one-on-one services, people that don’t know where to go,” Bloomberg said.
Bloomberg, standing beside Small Business Services Commissioner Robert Walsh and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, announced an expanded partnership between public libraries and the city’s Workforce1 Career Centers.
The two newest Workforce1 Centers are opening in Long Island City and on Staten Island. These centers — which provide assistance with the job search process — have also opened in the Queens Library in Flushing, the Brooklyn Public Library Sunset Park branch, and one will open in the Bronx this year. Last year, these centers connected New Yorkers to 35,000 jobs, Bloomberg said.
The initiative was first launched when Bloomberg stepped into office, and the addition of three library-based centers brings them to a total of 15 across the five boroughs.
“35,000 jobs. Just think about, 35,000 people…This year, we think we’ll connect even more…Libraries are gateways to opportunities,” he said.
“Whether you’re looking to get a job, or move up in your current career, I just want to encourage you to visit nyc.gov,” he added, promoting the city’s website (Promoting online and social media efforts of the city has been a thing this month!)
“For all of us that are elected — the most important job is creating jobs,” Markowitz said when it was his turn to talk. “It’s important for the families of New York. It’s important for the entire city…Folks want to work. We have to match up jobs for their skills.”
After a mutual love-fest of praise between library and city officials, Bloomberg didn’t miss an opportunity to remind reporters of his impending unemployment. “Marty and I are going to lose our jobs in 679 days — got any advice for us?”