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Libraries A re a Workforce Resource. Every door is the right door…. Carnegie recognized that libraries prepare workers for employment.

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libraries a re a workforce resource

Libraries Are aWorkforce Resource

Every door is the right door…

carnegie recognized that libraries prepare workers for employment
Carnegie recognized that libraries prepare workers for employment

“There is not such a cradle of democracy upon the earth as the Free Public Library, this republic of letters, where neither rank, office, nor wealth receives the slightest consideration.”


Public libraries are often a child’s first introduction to literacy skills - just as they were 100 years ago.


Early Learning Skills

Children’s programs may vary from reading to a dog (or guinea pig), to cultural performances, to creating their own books. They all have one thing in common, though. Library programs are built on a foundation of research on how to teach literacy skills as well as how to educate parents & caregivers on reinforcing these skills at home.


K-12 library programs are vital partners with classroom teachers as students develop the skills needed for post-secondary education and the 21st century workforce. Library media programs that have qualified media specialists, collections that support the curriculum, and are integrated into learning, teach students how to find, evaluate, analyze, and apply information.

Students are taught how to:·    Access information efficiently and effectively.·    Evaluate information critically and competently.·    Use information accurately and creatively to solve the issue or problem at hand.·    Understand both how and why media messages are constructed, and for what purposes.·    Use technology as a tool to research, organize, evaluate, create, and communicate information.·    Be good digital citizens with an understanding of the ethical/legal issues surrounding the access and use of information, access and use of media, and the use of technology.These are the skills that make it possible to function successfully in a knowledge economy.


Minnesota has 316 public libraries within 12 regional library systems.

Workforce centers are located

in 49 communities

throughout the state.


In the metro area, comparative research found:

  • Libraries Workforce Centers

100+ 13

  • Hours open weekly

4,736.5 619

including evenings & weekends!

  • Public Computers

2,445 284

melsa jobs small business taskforce
MELSA Jobs & Small Business Taskforce
  • By collaborating together, metro libraries are ensuring that core resources and assistance are available to support job seekers & entrepreneurs, in print, online, and from librarians.
  • Every door is the right door!
  • Metro libraries established jobs and small business service as a priority.
  • Dedicated a MELSA staff position to jobs and small business service.
  • Provided public training and dedicated web resources.
  • Library staff training augmented.
  • Partnership with WebJunction –web-based, national training forum for library staff.
  • Community partnerships strengthened and cross-training provided.
  • Engaging in promotion and advocacy for enhanced services, greater capacity, and better understanding of the role libraries play as destinations for job seekers and entrepreneurs in these tough economic times.
example of local collaboration
Example of local collaboration…
  • The Anoka County Workforce Center and Anoka County Library have developed an ongoing process to create a fuller partnership.
  • The Workforce Center provides tours and information on its services to library staff.
    • The WFC monthly calendar is posted at all library branches.
  • WFC staff receive in-depth information on library services.
  • Resource and collection analysis was done so that job seeker tools are available from both agencies.
  • Library card applications and “guest passes” are available at the WFC to bypass barriers to the library’s online resources.
  • The Anoka County Workforce Council formally accepted the Anoka County Library as a WFC partner and they were added to WFC Partners Memorandum of Understanding.
  • Joint grants sought; the two agencies are mid-way through the 1st successful application.

English Language Development

Conversation Circles

English Language Classes


Web Resources

Establish and maintain public access web pathfinder information for job seekers and entrepreneurs.

Deploy portals on each member library website.

Provide electronic resources that replicate and augment core offerings from workforce centers.


Libraries provide online resources 24/7

Serving residents anytime, anywhere…

library services technology act grants
Library Services & Technology Act Grants
  • Three grants in progress:
  • Anoka County Library partnership with MetroNorth Adult Basic Education & Anoka CountyWorkforce Center provides training & computer lab assistance for unemployed or underemployed workers.
  • East Central Regional Library System project to provide training for digital immigrants which included job help.
  • St. Paul Public Library’s research on basic digital literacy standards. The Northstar Digital Literacy/Core Computer Literacy Standards are designed to help low-skilled adults perform a variety of daily tasks on the computer and online.

Libraries have always been about literacy & bridging divides. They are still about service to all, literacy, and now, digital literacy, a vital component of the skills needed for a 21st century workforce.

questions please contact

Questions? Please contact:

Marlene Moulton Janssen,

Anoka County Library Director

763-785-3695 or email