Northborough library launches job seekers program

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By Laura Hayes, Senior Community Reporter

Donna Kafel is the Adult Services Librarian at Northborough Free Library. (Photo/Laura Hayes)

NORTHBOROUGH – The Northborough Free Library has launched a year-long program to help people find jobs. 

The Job Seekers Program officially launched on Oct. 1 and runs through Sept. 30 of next year.

“It’s the bread and butter. It’s what people need — employment,” said Adult Services Librarian Donna Kafel. “The way of looking for jobs has just changed so much … there’s a lot people who don’t know about managing their online presence, writing resumes, how it’s done now, even in terms of interviews.”

All of the programs are free. 

‘We…realized that a lot of people were losing their jobs due to the pandemic’

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, people visiting the library looking for jobs asked library staff for help formatting their resumes. 

“The whole idea of going online and creating a resume and submitting a resume is a huge learning curve for many people,” Kafel said.

The Adult Services department can proofread cover letters, applications and resumes. It can also print any documents related to a job search. 

During the pandemic, though, the library building was closed and couldn’t host any live or in-person programs. 

“We also realized that a lot of people were losing their jobs due to the pandemic,” Kafel said. 

So, in 2020, the library launched a series of Zoom programs that featured speakers who presented pro bono. 

That series inspired the library to seek grant opportunities to fund further presentations and to build a collection of job search resources at the library, such as books on how to write resumes or the process of searching for a career.

The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners awarded the Northborough Free Library a $6,200 Institute of Library Services Grant for their Job Seekers program. 

Future workshops to focus on ‘writing and review,’ other topics

Though some of the library’s planned programs will be held virtually, Kafel hopes to hold subsequent sessions in person.

The program kicked off with “Get Motivated to Job Search” on Oct. 4. The next event, “Resume Writing and Review,” will be held on Monday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. 

Other workshops focus on topics such as managing an online reputation and interview preparation. 

That Board of Library Commissioners grant will fund not only programs but also workshops for library staff to help them as they review visitors’ resumes for content and set up LinkedIn accounts with library patrons. 

The library has also launched a new database, which can be found along with a list of upcoming events at https://www.northboroughlibrary.org/Pages/Index/182038/northborough-job-seekers.