Developing Stories, Building Communities: Brooklyn Public Library's Services for Young Jobseekers and Entrepreneurs. Once upon a time libraries weren't taken seriously as contributors to the economy. Yet, libraries have always participated in workforce development by fostering literacy in youths and adults. Now, at a time when diverse jobseekers everywhere, especially young adults, face the toughest of job markets, libraries are being asked to do even more. Like other libraries throughout the US, Brooklyn Public Library has answered this call by constructing innovative programs, strategic partnerships, and user centered practices that promote youth, workforce, economic, and community development. Developing Stories, Building Communities will share Brooklyn Public Library's challenges, initiatives, and progress in changing the conversation about the role of libraries and their relevance.
New York City is home to 8.2 million people, of whom approximately 3.9 million people make up the City’s labor force.
In addition to our buildings which serve as community centers, we also provide
From the One City, One Workforce report 2011 report: In New York City and nationally, older youth and young adults face a more challenging and unforgiving labor market than at any time since records have been kept. The combination of slow overall growth, a glut of workers competing for jobs that younger workers traditionally have fi lled, and increasing employer demand for “experience” as a requirement for hiring has severely depressed both employment and work participation rates for teens and those in their early 20s. A recent analysis by the Economic Policy Institute found that while the overall U.S. labor force had declined by 0.5 percent between the end of 2007 and the end of 2009, the decline among 16 to 24 year olds was 6.5 percent— meaning that 1.5 million fewer older teens and young adults were working or actively looking for work at the end of that two year period. A rise in school enrollment could account for about half this number, though considering the large number of high school and college students who must work while also pursuing education, this only partially mitigates the severity of the problem young people confront. 1 The downturn in youth employment is particularly troubling in light of its potential long-term consequences. Research has indicated that work is “path-dependent”: those who work at age 17 are more likely to work at 19, and more likely to work into their early 20s and beyond. 2 This is particularly true for those young people who aren’t as likely to go on to college, where they might acquire credentials and skills that could help them overcome a lack of work experience. Even for many young people who are working, however, the glut of older workers with whom they are competing might mean that they are taking jobs below their skill levels, as in the case of a college graduate working as a retail clerk. Researchers have found that this outcome tends to depress a worker’s wages for years to follow. As shown earlier in the report, youth ages 16 to 24 are less likely to be in the labor force than all other age groups in New York City except adults over 65. Moreover, once attached to the labor force, they are more likely to be unemployed or employed part-time. A majority of youth in this age group can be expected to be in school either part-time or full-time, and many of those young people choose not to work. National fi gures on teen unemployment and recent decreases in funding for summer youth employment programs demonstrate that in-school youth confront historically high unemployment fi gures. 4 However, because the vast majority of youth ages 16 to 18 are in secondary school, and due to sample size limitations of the data available for New York City, in this section we focus on young adults ages 18 to 24, with an emphasis on Those who are neither in school nor employed. We present data on a number of relevant characteristics based on FY 2010 and FY 2011 data as well as FY 2007, the last full year of data before the start of the national recession.
DEVELOPING STORIES, BUILDING COMMUNITIES: BROOKLYN PUBLIC LIBRARY’S SERVICES FOR YOUNG JOBSEEKERS AND ENTREPRENEURS“A p ublic libra rie s a re a ls o s e rving a s a life line fo r p e o p le try ing to a d a p t to ndc ha lle ng ing e c o no m ic c irc um s ta nc e s , p ro vid ing te c hno lo g y tra ining a nd o nlinere s o urc e s fo r e m p lo y m e nt, a c c e s s to g o ve rnm e nt re s o urc e s , c o ntinuing e d uc a tio n,re to o ling fo r ne w c a re e rs a nd s ta rting a s m a ll bus ine s s . Libra rie s no t o nly be ne fitthe ir us e rs ind iv id ua lly . The y a ls o a c t a s c o m m unity hubs , bring ing p e o p le to g e the ra nd c o nne c ting the m to wo rld s be y o nd the ir c o m m unitie s . Libra rie s o ffe r m o re tha njus t bo o ks ; the y a re c o m m unity c e nte rs whe re e ve ry o ne ha s a c c e s s to p ro g ra m s a nds e rvic e s tha t fue l life lo ng le a rning .”Molly Raphael, 2011-2012 President of the American Library Association Presented by: March 2013 Kerwin Pilgrim Brooklyn Public Library Director of Adult Learning
Outline Introduction BPL Overview and Background Brooklyn Demographics Service Overview and Statistics Business and Workforce Development Youth Services Young Jobseekers Entrepreneurs
According to a recent report published on New York City libraries: “O ne wa y o r a no the r, N w Yo rk e ne e d s to be tte r le v e ra g e its libra rie s if it is to be e c o no m ic a lly c o m p e titive a nd re m a in a c ity o f o p p o rtunity .”Center for an Urban Future’s“Branches of Opportunity”January 2013
Service Overview Circulation Print: Books and Periodicals Non-Print: Multi-Media (DVDs, Audio books, CDs) Digital: e-books, e-video, and e-audio Programs Adults (including seniors) Young Adults (13 to 21) Children Technology Computer Internet and Wireless Internet Laptops Databases
Business and WorkforceDevelopment Business & Career Library Hub Location Comprehensive Collection Education and job information Business and investment information Periodicals, serials, and newsletters Online resources Popular Databases Career Cruising (Career Assessment and Exploration) Learning Express Library (Test Preparation and Job Readiness) Reference USA (Market research) Plunkett (Industry Research) Morningstar (Investment Research) Small Business Resource Center (Sample business plans) Electronic Services Email Reference Chat Reference Telephone Reference
Business and WorkforceDevelopment One on One Services (provided by librarian staff) STEP one on one job readiness counseling Book a librarian one on one research help Popular Workshops Resume writing and interviewing Starting a business and finding financing Computer Basics and Using Microsoft Word Special Grant Programs PowerUP! Business Plan Competition Growing Dollars and $ense Financial Literacy education Partnerships Workforce One job placement centers in two libraries Dept. Labor employment counseling and orientations (one on one) SCORE business counseling (one on one) Office of Financial Empowerment financial counseling (one on one) NELP legal business counseling (one on one) Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce monthly member meetings
Sample Business Programs Marketing with New Technology Series: Email Marketing, Blogging, Crowdsourcing, Marketing with Mobile Apps, (198) Start Smart Series: How to Start a Specialty Food Business; How to Start a Fashion Business; How to Start Day Care Business (185) You Can Do It Too Entrepreneur Series: Success Stories from Brooklyn Business Owners (157) Entrepreneur Expo: Meet & greet with business service and assistance providers; meet with business mentors. (175) Legal Ease Series: Hiring Employees, Keeping Records, Paying Taxes (189) Using Google Tools to Grow your Business (160) Start Up Series: How to Start a Business, How to Start a Non-Profit (261) Tech Essentials with Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce (115) Financial Empowerment Fair (90_ Money Matters Series: Lenders’ Roundtable; Crowd Funding for Start Ups (90) Intellectual Property for Entrepreneurs with Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project (87)
Outcome Story“Start-Up Help at Your Local Library” I . M g a z ine . c o m June 3 , 2 0 1 0 nc aStacey Toussaint, President and CEO of Inside Out Tours, Inc. won $15,000 for having a first placeplan to launch a cultural tourism company, offering bus and walking tours of NYC, specializing inBrooklyn. Toussaint said The goal of entering and winning the business plan competition gave usan incentive to take classes at BPLs Business Library and utilize Brooklyns small business centersrather than just rely on our own resources. We received training in marketing, creating financialstatements, and writing a business plan. We also made valuable connections with other competitionparticipants that have resulted in strategic relationships. Runner up Elissa Olin, Founder & Owner of Green in BKLYN , an eco-friendly home goods & giftshop in Clinton Hill said The prize money was the most visible and recognized resource…. But aneven longer lasting influence on the success of the business has been the media support andcoverage. It gave us a leg up and created not only a buzz, but momentum, which has beeninstrumental in the success of the business in its first and, typically, most difficult year. Sales [are]up…. more than 60% higher year-to-year."The Library Helped Me Start My Business“ Wo m e n’s Da y M rc h 1 5 , 2 0 0 8 aThe great thing about the Brooklyn Public Library Business Library is they not only sponsor thiscontest, but also give valuable workshops on how to write your business plan, a workshop on theresources at the library, and provide lists of outside resources to help start your business. It is a one-stop shop….. The resources I found most helpful at the library were the ability to reserve businessbooks online and conduct industry-specific research through the librarys database, which also canbe accessed from home with a library card and a pin code; the numerous workshops offered byprofessionals in subjects such as marketing, accounting, organization, time management, businessplan basics; and last but not least, the valuable advice of the librarians.
Developing Young Jobseekers Jobs Part timers/Pages—shelve library materials Computer Aides—assist computer users and in programs City wide Summer Youth Employment Program-work in various areas Programs Workshops-college and career readiness College and Career Fairs—onsite and at offsite outreach Growing Dollars and $ense for Teens—financial literacy Online Resources Career Cruising --Career Assessment and exploration Learning Express Library—test for education and job preparation Resources guides—list of websites, agencies, etc. Volunteer opportunities MIP Multicultural Internship Program-- Today’s Teens., Tomorrow’s Techies (T4) Internships Paid internships by external institution in variety of departments Unpaid internships for high school and college students
Partnerships/Collaboration Workforce 1 Expansion Centers at BPL NYC Dept. of Youth and Community Development Youth Coordinating Council NYC Young Men’s Initiative Get Your ID campaign Young Adult Pre-GED classes Literacy classes and internship Dept. of Education HIVE network Information sharing and coordination
Developing YoungEntrepreneurs T4 PowerUP! Teen Virtual Investment Club Young Entrepreneur resource guide My Own Biz website
Building Communities Libraries promote literacy for children and adults Libraries provide training and opportunities for young adults to grow and succeed Libraries provide information, resources, and referrals to help young adults make good decisions Libraries support workforce and economic development Libraries build communities by building people and their stories.
Stories and Outcomes Continue T4 Blog Virtual investment Club blog MIP blog