Job searching bring many to library

Oct. 12, 2009

The library has become the new job center.

Seasoned Web users taking advantage of the library's wireless access, people who don't have an e-mail address and everyone in between are heading to the Wauwatosa Public Library in hopes of using free technology in their job searches.

The library is seeing thousands more visits this year, and Director Mary Murphy attributes the growth in part to the poor economy and its impact on Wauwatosa residents.

Staff member have noticed a growing number of men ages 30 to 60 sitting in the library with laptops, and circulation of materials to this demographic is up 17 percent this year, she said.

On the other end of the spectrum are people who have never used a computer, but who, with the help of volunteers stationed at the computer terminals, are setting up an e-mail account, searching for job ads and filling out electronic applications. Many of these people had long-term jobs with an employer and did not use computers as a part of their regular routine.

"Their whole world has changed," Murphy said.

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