Libraries and Business

Monday, June 24, 2013

Kristin McDonough, director of the NYPL's Science, Industry and Business LibraryRobyn Saunders, career coach at the Career and Education Information Service at the Bronx Library Center, and Jesse Montero, coordinator of Information Services at the Shelby White and Leon Levy Information Commons at Brooklyn Public Library and manager of their Information Commons, talk about the library-based resources for job seekers and entrepreneurs and answer listener questions.

→ NYC Neighborhood Library Awards nomination form here!


Kristin McDonough, Jesse Montero and Robyn Saunders

Comments [15]

Marsha Rimler from Brooklyn

The libraries are being destroyed in order to save them. What a shame. We live in a city ruled by the real estate industry. Now they and Bloomberg have come up with this scheme for continued overdevelopment, transfer of public assets to the private sector and library downsizing. In Brooklyn the BPL plan to destroy two very used libraries is pushed by a dysfunctional organization. They have done nothing to apply for private grants or creatively fundraise and now they say to the public let us give you land away and downsize a wonderful service, free to all that helps us develop our intellectual ability. I say stop the plan, fire the executive and the board and come up with a plan we can all support. Sell library bonds.

Jun. 25 2013 05:51 PM
Phyllis from Brooklyn

The public is being hoodwinked into believing that the only thing the libraries will be good for in the 21st century is digital everything and in order to build these places, so-called "community centers", the plan is to tear down good, well used real PUBLIC libraries where there are books and places for research and study - and stick smaller libraries into PRIVATE buildings. Dirty business.

Jun. 25 2013 04:06 PM
Mark Alan Hewitt FAIA from Bernardsville, New Jersey

Brian: You should have a full segment on the extraordinary attack on the 42nd Street library by the real estate industry and the NYPL board. This cultural vandalism by powerful special interests (Schwartzman, Rose, Wall Street, the real estate moguls) should be given a real hearing so that critics' voices can be heard. This is a political issue that will impact the coming mayoral election. Thank you.

Jun. 25 2013 03:38 PM
Donald J. Sepanek from Bayonne, NJ

Dress for Success only for women and maybe someday for men? How do they get away with this gross sexist inequality? No wonder it was women who voted against the ERA.

Jun. 24 2013 04:59 PM
Darrell from Brooklyn

Thanks for this segment. As technology is changing our ways of getting information, our public resources need to change to suit public needs. After all it is a PUBLIC library, and it's main job is to serve the community. As a telecommuter, I have been seeking a place to work and because of the interview I now know that my local library has an area for telecommuters. I will be using this resource!

Jun. 24 2013 03:10 PM
Eastern Cunningham from Bronx NY

@Bob from Brooklyn

I have got some exciting news for you, I have worked with Ms. Saunders at the Bronx Library Center. She is a gem...She walks you through process of job search, computer training, resume development and job coaching! We work TOGETHER towards shaping my career and I have just accepted employment at a leading fortune 500 company. She has helped so many people get jobs, the library is more personable now, they show that they care about us individually and collectively. So come up to the Bronx and get some love from our neighborhood library. Ms. Saunders, will not just help you with employment, she will help you get your life back on track!!!!!!!!!!!

Smiling and singing from the BRONX!

Jun. 24 2013 01:48 PM
Sara from Brooklyn

For the past year, I have been writing my dissertation in different public libraries in the city and documenting them as I go ( I've been able to learn about many new neighborhoods and meet a great number of people I never would've otherwise.

I did indeed expect the libraries to be quieter places of reading, rather than something closer to bustling community centers. Despite not having my personal needs met as closely as I expected, I gained an incredible appreciation for public libraries. For some, these are the only places for mental, physical, or spiritual peace. They are sites for developing ideas, community, skills, and connections - for free, for everyone.

Jun. 24 2013 12:54 PM
Michael D. D. White from Brooklyn Heights

The library PR is glossing over the issues here.

Bloomberg and Quinn are saying in these clips that library funding won't be further cut, cut from last year. But library funding is way down.

Quinn, in the clip just said NO libraries will be closed. . . even though these funding cuts are still being used to justify the sale of libraries and the shrinkage of the library system. We are facing sales and shrinkage with respect to the Central Library Plan (removing the research stacks from the 42nd Street Central Reference Library), sale of Donnell, Mid-Manhattan, SIBL, Brooklyn Heights Library, Pacific Branch and more. . . the shrinkage are typically reductions down to less than one-third or even as little as a quarter of the previous publicly-owned space. The Central Library plan takes 380,000 square feet of space and puts it in 80,000 square feet. Donnell was 97,000 square feet reduced to 28,000 square feet, mostly underground. Brooklyn Heights 62,000 square feet goes down to 20,000 square feet (15,000 was first proposed) with a hefty proportion of the library being moved underground.

Meanwhile, the library administration covers over these real estate sales with PR happy talk. Grand Army Plaza has a serious problem with overcrowding such that they are getting rid of the History Room, and yet they propose to cram the Business and Career Library in as well? That's to the extent the that Business and Career library will continue to exist at all as space is shrunk. To a large extent it will probably just disappear.

Sign the Citizens Defending Libraries petition opposing these library real estate boondoggles.

Jun. 24 2013 11:08 AM
The Truth from Becky

Often this is the only computer access some communities have and most mid to lower level jobs require that you go on line now and complete applications.

Jun. 24 2013 10:58 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

Why not add dating services to the library?

Jun. 24 2013 10:58 AM
Jeremy Burke from West Village

It would be great to also feature privately-funded libraries that are open to the public, especially those serving specific communities. I work at Latse Library, a Tibetan cultural library in the West Village, that serves as a center for the local Tibetan community and those interested in Tibet. There are other hidden library resources in the city serving many other cultural communities as well.

Jun. 24 2013 10:56 AM
John from Staten Island

I agree with Bob's comments regarding the behavior which is now tolerated at the NYPL branches as well. Also regarding the mix of books and other services at the libraries, since when did the library become a film rental center? I believe the NYPL is not spending it's funding wisely. I think it's a shame that the traditional role of a library is not emphasized.

Jun. 24 2013 10:55 AM
Cynthia Tavlin from Bergenfield, NJ

So glad you are devoting a segment of the show to job search and libraries. I'm a reference librarian at the Bergenfield Public Library in New Jersey and wanted to add some information for WNYC's NJ listeners:

NJ residents with a library card from any public library can access Job & Career Accelerator-- a helpful resource with access to a job search database/resume writing advice on how to fill out online job applications etc... through When you get to Jersey Clicks scroll down to Job & Career Accelerator to register. Our library (and many others in NJ) provides instruction to job seekers on how to get started and take full advantage of the program.

Additionally, several libraries in BCCLS (Bergen County Cooperative Library System) host Neighbors Helping Neighbors--a support and networking group that meets in various NJ libraries on a weekly basis. Here's some additional information:

Would love to listen to the segment this morning, but alas, I'm on the Reference Desk most of the morning :) Can't wait to tune in later.

Jun. 24 2013 10:15 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

Also, I'd like to mention, the jobs on offer in these places are generally lower-level positions with few benefits and terrible pay. If you have any good work experience, you'll generally be overqualified for anything on offer at the library. And the workers who are there to review resumes and help find placement for job seekers are not very good at it. They are very rigid thinkers and have very limited work experience themselves.

Jun. 24 2013 09:34 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

As much as I am for helping job seekers, I do not support the use of libraries for this kind of activity. The libraries have sadly become noisy computer centers and romper rooms, not a place of study and reflection. It's a shame. There use to be stricter rules about noise, and the shelves use to be jammed packed with books. Now the floor space has been used up with rows of computers and fewer good books are kept on the shelves. RIP.

Jun. 24 2013 09:30 AM

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