Library staff are often asked to help library users navigate job seeker and employment services. In partnership with the Job Center of Wisconsin, the Department of Workforce Development, and Wisconsin Workforce Development Boards, the DPI has developed multiple resources to assist in building partnerships with workforce development teams, and to enhance knowledge of workforce systems, and programs and services that support job seekers.
Along with the resources below, each library should assess and list on its website the specific services offered and any associated costs or required appointments. Then communicate this information to all staff. A Workforce Resources Inventory for Libraries is available to assist in this task.
This work through the Libraries Activating Workforce Development Skills (LAWDS) project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian program. More information about the LAWDS project and continued workforce development initiatives can be found below.
The Library Workforce Connection (LWC)
While the Libraries Activating Workforce Development Skills (LAWDS) project officially "ended" in December of 2022, librarians and workforce development specialists involved in the collaboration collectively identified the immense value of an ongoing statewide partnership. Beginning January 2023, LAWDS participants agreed to continue meeting monthly under the rebranded moniker The Library Workforce Connection (LWC).
The LWC is a workforce development workgroup consisting of Library System Directors, regional Library Consultants, Workforce Development Specialists, and more. The group aims to showcase successful workforce development and service-related initiatives (which could be utilized in libraries throughout the state), and troubleshoot evolving workforce development challenges. The LWC is an excellent way for librarians and other specialists throughout the state to collaborate and stay in-the-know about workforce development opportunities in the field.
If you have questions about the Library Workforce Connection workgroup, or believe you may be eligible to join, please contact Public Library Consultant Chris Baker (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Libraries Activating Workforce Development Skills (LAWDS) grew out of a long-standing collaboration between the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, the Wisconsin Library Association, and Wisconsin’s Workforce Development Boards. In 2018, the collaborative successfully applied for and was awarded a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian grant with a three-year budget of $244,999. The project began in October 2018, and has provided training sessions, developed online training resources, delivered outreach materials, and fostered closer collaboration between public libraries and LAWDS partner organizations throughout Wisconsin. The grant project ended in December 2022, with collaborating partners continuing their work starting in 2023 as the newly-renamed "Library Workforce Connection" (LWC).