ECCPL seeing benefits from resource center

Published 5:53 pm Friday, July 28, 2017

What started as an idea has snowballed into an asset for the community.
The staff at the Elizabethton/Carter County Public Library are no strangers when it comes to providing resources to the public and that continues to be the case to this day with the recent unveiling of their new resource center located in the corner of the facility.
Excitement has continued since day one, according to the library’s Maryann Owen. Owen added the she and former Community Resource Specialist Cheri Tinney were able to come together with the idea.
“Our resource center idea came to light when we wanted to reorganize the patron computers and move out two laptops that were being used for job searches,” Owen told the Elizabethton Star Friday.
The center offers a multitude of resources, including assistance with resume building, job applications, information on different organizations and partners throughout the region and educational opportunities.
“We wanted an area that would grow our community need, not just employment but community and education resources,” Owen said. “Thanks to the help of our intern, Steph, we grew the corner with updating one of the laptops with a desktop.”
Owen added the library brought all study guides from the back of the library to the stacks near the resource corner. The two dedicated computers in the corner assist with job searching, applying for work, resume creation, employment testing and Winway softball software that handles all formatting for patrons. The corner also has a scanner available for patrons.
“With Steph’s help, we extended our bookshelves by adding resume building, interview guides and books dealing with workplaces … from how to write an email to bullying,” Owen said, adding the work couldn’t have been accomplished without the support of Library Director Renita Barksdale.
The resource center also netted a pair of success stories, according to Owen.
“We had one lady that arrived each day from the time we opened and stayed for six to seven hours,” she said. “She was determined to find a job and we were able to support her in each step. We all felt wonderful the day she came in to tell us she landed a job.”
Owen added a gentleman was able to utilize the resources and land a job at Lowe’s rather quickly.
The center goes hand-in-hand with the opportunities available in the airlock entrance of the library.
“We are able to enrich the resource corner with new or additional pamphlets from each time a community resource comes to our library,” Owen said. “Cheri came up with the idea of having an organization set up in the airlock for one week to promote what they do. I believe each time we focus on a community resource that it has great potential to reach so many folks in Elizabethton and Carter County.”

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