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Career Services

Job Search Central Two Years On: A Progress in Work


After the collapse of financial markets in 2008 and the resulting job loss experienced by millions of Americans, The New York Public Library decided the time was right to expand the services of the former Job Information Center at Mid-Manhattan Library and transform it into the current Job Search Central (JSC) in the Science, Industry and Business Library (SIBL) to provide a broader range of assistance to those in urgent need of finding new avenues of employment.

By moving job and career research materials to SIBL, JSC users would benefit from access to the full range of electronic databases available only in SIBL, providing extensive information on companies and industries, as well as reference resources in print covering these same areas. In addition, more one-on-one counseling services were established, such as career coaching by representatives of AARP for older job seekers, the Career Development Specialists Network, and an on-staff librarian with certification in career counseling. SIBL, since its founding in 1996, has had a branch office of SCORE, which provides assistance to those with a variety of small business issues and those hoping to make the transition from the corporate sector to self-employment. More recently, SIBL has provided the space for individual financial education and counseling sessions conducted by the Financial Planning Association of New York to those who need help with difficult personal finance concerns related to unemployment, retirement, 401Ks, etc.

Magdalene Chan, SIBL's Job Search Central librarian with career counseling certification, reports that there have been many success stories of JSC users finding employment. In one instance, a 26 year old man consulted with Chan after he had lost his job as a sales and service representative with a large investment banking firm after it had merged with an other investment house. Through her suggestion, he explored the Career Cruising database to explore his interests, abilities, and values, and he came to the realization that he was best suited to become a financial analyst, especially since he had passed the relevant certification exams. With Chan's guidance in perfecting his resume and cover letter and taking full advantage of some of the other JSC resources, he eventually landed a financial analyst position with JP Morgan Chase, edging out the other approximately 100 candidates.

Another happy story is one of a middle aged woman who also came for counseling with Chan. She had earned a BBA from one the CUNY colleges, an MBA from an online graduate program, and had experience in managing the logistical operations of two older adult care centers in Queens and Manhattan that had closed earlier this year. After a few weeks of researching JSC resources, she inteviewed for and got an assistant director position at Elmhust Hospital in Queens. A third case involved a candidate with extensive publishing experience and a law degree who secured a position with the New York City Department of Education using her law experience to review construction contracts.

The New York Public Library's job and career resources positively impact the lives of users outside of the JSC and SIBL, as well. Patricia Kettles, the manager of NYPL's Port Richmond Library on Staten Island, related to me how one patron approached her needing a real estate exam preparation book. All were checked out and she was scheduled to take the exam in two weeks. Kettles directed the patron to a computer workstation where she could use the Learning Express database, which is available at all neighborhood libraries, to study an online version of the real estate exam guide. The patron continued to access Learning Express from home with her library card and later returned to Port Richmond Library to thank Kettles for showing her the database, which prepared her to pass her licensing exam.

NYPL's Central Collection Devlopment department supplements these electronic, reference, and one-on-one resources by regularly purchasing circulating titles for JSC and other neighborhood libraries, which are available for check out with your library card. Visit our new Catalog for a selection of recently acquired titles. To find other similar job and career titles in the Catalog, simply do a call number search with the word "jobs" or a subject search with the phrase "vocational guidance."


Patron-generated content represents the views and interpretations of the patron, not necessarily those of The New York Public Library. For more information see NYPL's Website Terms and Conditions.

Hi, Thanks so much for this

Hi, Thanks so much for this blog. I work in a library branch without much database work. It's great to know that we subscribe to a database that has practice tests. Now, I'm going to tell all the customers about it!

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