Sunday, January 15, 2012

Is Virtual Reference on your list of New Year’s Resolutions? Join Califa and OCLC January 31 to learn about the steps you can take to improve your Virtual Reference visibility and effectiveness as found in the OCLC report Seeking Synchronicity. The report’s authors, Lynn Silipigni Connaway and Marie Radford, will discuss their research and what they learned from librarians and library users alike. The second part of the webinar will allow time for your questions and an online conversation with your peers on how virtual reference is used successfully throughout the country.

Friday, January 6, 2012

January 5, 2012


FROM:           Mike Dillon, CLA Lobbyist
                        Christina DiCaro, CLA Lobbyist

RE:                 News From the Capitol

No New Funding For Libraries Provided

Governor Jerry Brown was scheduled to release his January 2012-13 Budget next Tuesday at 9 a.m., per the annual constitutional deadline.  However, at some point today the Administration became aware that the Department of Finance had accidentally posted an early copy of the Governor’s 2012-13 Budget to its public website, which necessitated a quick change in plans for the Governor.   At 1:30 p.m. we received word that the Governor would call the press corps together at 2:30 p.m. today to unveil the Budget a little ahead of schedule.  When he subsequently met with the press, the Governor thanked them for convening with “relatively short notice.  There are no secrets in government.  The Budget was released earlier than planned.”

The Governor said that his focus for 2012-13 would be to push for his tax plan, which will appear on the November 2012 ballot (a half cent sales tax increase for five years and an increase in the income tax on $250K filers), as well as “paying down the wall of debt.”  He announced significant cuts to welfare programs (totaling $1.5 billion) and child care programs and he announced another “trigger” plan affecting higher education and K-12 schools, should the tax plan not pass in November.  The Governor provided no new funding for public library programs and, in fact, proposed a reduction to the State Library Administration.

You will recall that when the Governor and the Department of Finance announced they would be pulling the so-called “trigger” on massive reductions to UC, CSU, In Home Support Services, etc. in December, that action also included elimination of the $16 million in remaining funding for the California Library Services Act, the state literacy program, and the Public Library Foundation.   In the Governor’s Budget released today, he does not restore any of the so-called “trigger cuts” for public libraries.  In fact, the Governor’s Budget makes a $1.1 million cut to the State Library Administration Budget “to reflect a decrease in anticipated administrative workload resulting from 2011-12 trigger reductions that eliminated $15.9 million in local assistance programs.”  The Budget document goes on to state, “Despite this reduction, the California State Library will continue to preserve California’s history and cultural heritage, and share its collection of historic documents with the citizens of California.”

Next Steps

As previously reported, in early March the Budget Subcommittees on Education Finance (one in the Senate and one in the Assembly) will begin their work, examining the Governor’s 2012-13 Budget.  In the meantime, we will be working with legislators at the Capitol, encouraging them to build library funding back into the new State Budget.  We are going to be leaning on all of you in the coming weeks to write letters to the members of the subcommittees, and then subsequently to the full Budget Committees.  Next week we will send out another alert, confirming all of the 2012 subcommittee conferees, and providing legislator contact information, and some “talking points.”  This is going to be a challenging year.  Please look for an update from us in the coming days. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

brainfuse jobnow testimonials

A few weeks ago I posted that we would be working with Brainfuse on their JobNow program, which provides real-time job coaching to those seeking work, providing help on things like building a resume, interviewing, etc. 

Below are some testimonials from other libraries who have been using the service that I thought I would pass along to those of you who have thought about how a product like this could serve your communities.  And I'm also pasting the remaining webinar dates and reservation here, too.  If the dates aren't convenient for you, but you're interested in finding out more, let me know and we can get another one scheduled.  Also, if you want a quote, let me know.

The webinars are here (with registration links)
Date: Thursday, January 12, 2012
Time: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM PST

Date: Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Time: 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM PST

Thank you!

Jefferson County Colorado testimonial -

Success stories:

San Bernardino County - Hesperia Branch:
 “I was out of work for over 2 ½ years… I came to the workshop… I was told [by the JobNow program] that there was too much information on my resume, so I weeded out all the unnecessary information… I posted my new resume online and within 2 days, I got several calls for interviews and a few days after that I was hired!!! ...Thank you for helping me find employment that I enjoy...” from a letter written by a job seeker who had been introduced to JobNow in the Hesperia branch, Grant Knowlton, Resource Center Manager
Friday, one of our regular customers went to a job fair in town; 30-40 employers and several hundred job-seekers, all dressed to the nines and with résumés in hand.
“I took my BrainFuse résumé, and the recruiter said that was the best résumé he had seen in a long time,” he said.   A couple of points attracted my attention: 1, the high quality was recognized by an HR professional, and 2, our patron had taken personal ownership of the brand, calling it his “BrainFuse résumé.”

Litchfield County, Connecticut
I just wanted you to know that I used the Resume Assistance feature of JobNow and was impressed with the results.  I had previously attended 3 resume workshops and had my resume reviewed by :  the CT Department of Labor, a Licensed Professional Counselor from a local community college, and a representative from an international Management Resource firm.  The analysis and feedback I got from the JobNow coach was by far the most helpful. 

MELSA Hennepin County
As a recent graduate, this service has proven to be more helpful than my university career center. One of the reasons that it is helpful is that it is non-confrontational and non-embarrassing. As an alum, you are not protected under FERPA. Communications like getting help on a resume are not always confidential in a university setting. A bad resume can be shared between friends, professors, or colleagues. That just isn't constructive when all people struggle with it. I am glad that I am able to take advantage of the Brainfuse service through my public library. This past session was particularly helpful because my cover letter has been coming off as overwhelming on one extreme and sounding like I am taking over a director's job on the other. Because I like to take a more creative approach to resume and cover letter writing, it has been helpful to particularly get feedback on resumes and cover letters that are styled like the TORI winners from Career Directors International. This is a great service and it just keeps getting better! :)

MELSA St. Paul Public Library

Subject: Workforce & JobNow success story

I just have to share another success story from the Arlington HotSpot!  This time it's in the area of Workforce.  I had a young man stop in this afternoon simply to tell me he just came from an interview where he got a job offer.  He said he got the offer because of the prep work he did here in the HotSpot and because of the help he received!  Yay!

He is a young guy just of the military who had been applying for security positions and had been in several times working on that.  I helped him a couple times working on his resume and we used the resume builder on JobNow and we also reviewed a lot of the interviewing tips and techniques on the JobNow site.  Two days ago he was in preparing for this interview.  We printed out his resume on our fancy new resume paper and we also did some research on the company with whom he was interviewing (we even used RefUSA!)

It's really gratifying that we where able to help him but even moreso that he stopped in specifically to tell me about his success and to tell me "Thanks."  Yay!