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Kingsport library expanding services for job seekers

June 30th, 2007 12:00 am by Matthew Lane

KINGSPORT - The Kingsport Public Library plans to expand its services by adding an Employment and College Information Center later this year that aims to help people prepare resumes, hone interview skills, and provide financial aid information.

Director Helen Whittaker said the center is being fully funded through a $12,765 state grant and would be located on the second floor of the library behind the Palmer Room, near the small business center. The center will include books, DVDs and software to help people prepare resumes, tips on job interviews, information on various types of careers, and how to decide what career is right for you.

"The college information section will have the college preparation tests, books and online resources, and financial aid information. We're excited about getting three or four electronic resources, which can also be accessed from home," Whittaker said. "We've even got some special resume software on our computers for more than just what the word wizard gives you."

Because of staff and time limitations at the library, employees cannot help every person individually on employment and college information. Whittaker said because of this, the grant would also fund a series of workshops at the library to help people in those areas. The library will be partnering with the unemployment office and Northeast State Technical Community College for the workshops.

"We're doing one sometime later this summer on finding local jobs online, to help people with resumes and interviews," Whittaker said.

The library currently has online test preparation software for the GED, ACT and SAT tests that offers immediate feedback, real estate and fire qualification programs, and a "fair amount" of books on writing resumes and various careers.

"What this will do will allow us to update some of that as well as expand that collection," Whittaker said.

Nearly every day people come to the library seeking help and information about careers, resumes and interview skills. Whittaker said some of these people do fine in their research, but others need help. That's the void the new center will fill.

"We see everything, and a lot of college students, I think, some of them think they can't go to school since they can't afford it," Whittaker said. "One of these online resources has information on grants and financial aid that isn't easily found other places. We're hoping to provide information to encourage kids who otherwise wouldn't think about going to college."

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