Finding a job by logging on at the library

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

NEWPORT, AR (KAIT) - Out of work residents of Jackson County are "checking out" an unusual source for jobs.

Using a computer to search for a job or fill out an application is new for a lot of people.  Without a job many don't have the internet or even a computer.  That's why every day dozens fill their local libraries in search of a new job.

"I come and search for jobs," said job seeker Terry White.

White is one of about 80 visitors a day to the Jackson County Library who come specifically to use the computers.

"I come in two to three times a week.  As much as I can," said White.

She is just one of many who are finding free internet at the library too good to pass up.

"It's very helpful in the search process and learning more about getting out there and finding a job because of the job economy right now.  It's very hard," said White.

Library Director Darby Wallace said they have four computers that are always busy.

"We have some patrons that rely on nothing but the computers.  We try to sign them up for a library card and introduce them to our books as well but some people use the library strictly for internet access," said Wallace.

"Everything is based on technology.  You have to use the internet because jobs are moving towards the internet," said job seeker Tosheanna Hughes.

The number of visitors to the library is up by over 700 people for the month of June.  Wallace said many of those are people looking for a job.

"I think that the library can be many things to many people and especially to a job seeker a public library is their best friend," said Wallace.

"I've learned that I have to work more on my resume to update it more and be more precise," said White.

And for some, it's bringing them back to the library.

"This is the most that I've been to the library," said White.

"I think I'm going to be here a lot.  The internet is a lifesaver.  It will be huge so I will definitely be attending this library a lot," said Hughes.

This is the only opportunity many have to use a computer and the internet in their search.

"I know it's going to take time.  It's not going to jump out at me I'm going to have to keep on coming and searching and eventually something will come along," said White.

Wallace said they also have wireless routers in the library allowing visitors to bring in lap tops to use on-line.  They also hope to purchase some laptops for patron use.

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