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Job Loss Survival Kits

Calgary Public Library

Innovation Leader: Roberta Kuzyk-Burton, Reference Assistant, roberta.kuzyk-burton@calgarypubliclibrary.com

Problem Statement

In 2009, unemployment rose in Calgary as a result of the economic recession, leading to a significant increase in the number of Calgarians searching for resources to support them in coping with job loss and searching for employment opportunities. While free community programs and services were available to support Calgarians experiencing job loss (including a variety of Library programs), information about these services, including accurate and up to date contact information, was not easily accessible. A comprehensive package that provided this information was required.

Innovation

CPL tapped into its extensive network with key community organizations and took the lead to create a “Job Loss Survival Kit”. This innovative package provided a one-stop approach to information on free community resources and programs available to support individuals facing unemployment. Included in the kit:

  1. Information on Library Services. Pamphlets, flyers and booklists provided an overview of print and electronic job search resources available, along with descriptions and registration information for library programs on job searching and career planning including:
    • Career Coaching – a drop-in volunteer led program that coaches participants on how to navigate the job market, interview skills, etc.;
    • Drop-in Computer Help – on demand support for the development of digital literacy skills including online job searching; and
    • Strategic Networking – information and tips for how to build new connections with employers.
  2. Information on Community Services /Community Partners. Workbooks, brochures, and directory publications highlighted key community services available for finding work, housing, crisis counseling, as well as practical tips and exercises for job searching and career planning.

Progress

725 kits were distributed to Calgarians throughout the city, positively impacting the lives of many affected by the economic recession.