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San José Public Library Works

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San José Public Library Works

San Jose Public Library, Calif.

Workforce and Economic Development | 2018

Innovation Summary

San José Public Library Works, located at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, unites the expertise of the area's top leaders in economic and workforce development, creating a hub of services and resources for employment seekers, small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Problem Statement

San José, although in the heart of prosperous Silicon Valley, has an under employment rate of 25-35 percent, 19 percent live in poverty and small businesses account for 38 percent of all jobs in the city. There is clearly a need to support the career and entrepreneurial needs of the city’s residents. SJPL Works is a free local resource dedicated to help job seekers and small businesses with the overall goal of improving San José’s economic health.


SJPL Works offers free classes and workshops specifically tailored to support and educate entrepreneurs and job seekers, utilizing expert community partners. In addition, the space offers access to computers with software such as Adobe Creative and Quickbooks, co-working space and a specialized print collection with items in Spanish and Vietnamese. Business librarians are available to assist patrons with resume help, business research and any other business or career related individual assistance a patron may need.


In the year since SJPL Works opened in March 2017, 313 programs have been offered with 2,519 total attendees. SJPL Works has established strong relationships with program partners such as SCORE, EDD, USPTO and the local workforce development board. In addition, SJPL Works continues to expand outreach efforts specifically targeting non-English language speakers, new potential corporate & community program partners and volunteers to ultimately increase awareness and usage of SJPL Works services and resources.