Opinion: San Diego public libraries are a great resource for remote workers

Jones is director of the San Diego Public Library and lives in South Park. Burns is Director of Learning at San Diego Workforce Partnership and lives in Pacific Beach.

When you think of things essential to San Diego’s economy, several images spring to mind: our military, biotechnology, beaches and the sun, and libraries.

Yes, the libraries.

Did this last example surprise you? It shouldn’t.

San Diego public libraries are essential for informing and educating the local workforce. Add to that the long-standing relationship with the San Diego Workforce Partnership and, unsurprisingly, our libraries are what drive our economy forward.

The books are the beginning of the story.

As much as libraries are known for books and reading, through this partnership, libraries are demonstrating that they are hubs of free public service that include cutting edge technology and community resources. In fact, it has become the norm for public libraries in San Diego – what we think all libraries should look like.

Take, for example, the San Diego Central Library @ Joan Irwin Jacobs Common in the East Village.

Here, the OliverMcMillan I CAN! The center offers spacious and specialized workspaces and staff trained to help people with disabilities. IDEA and Innovation Labs, Career Online High School and the upcoming Microbusiness Center are also examples of resources that exist to support people, meet their needs so that they can seize greater opportunities. On the fifth floor, there is a full-service career center, made possible through collaboration with the San Diego Workforce Partnership.

All Career Center services are free and include job search assistance, career coaching, tuition assistance programs, curriculum vitae preparation, mock interviews and job training workshops. career. It’s through community collaborations with entities like the San Diego Workforce Partnership where essential support for workers in the region ensures everyone has access to the career paths and jobs they love.

A recent day of family career exploration at the Valencia Park / Malcolm X library is another example of this extraordinary union. This free event amplified the services of the library and the San Diego Workforce Partnership throughout the community, including professional skills and career development resources.

Together, these teams have offered research-tested resources that have helped people organize their interests and discover meaningful careers where they are more likely to perform well and achieve job satisfaction. Children and adults learned together, embracing each other’s energy as they discussed their common hopes and dreams for the future.

What a great example of the history of the library. This is just one part of the collective commitment to supporting a strong workforce. The library has been there to support the economy and always will be – it is vibrant, serves diverse communities and is a catalyst for change.

Yet none of these services are possible without adequate funding.

The OliverMcMillan I CAN! Center, for example, is made possible by donors from the San Diego Public Library Foundation who helped open the amazing Central Library and this important laboratory. The Library Foundation is also exploring how we can expand and continue to fund programs like Career Exploration Day at Valencia Park / Malcolm X Library. These collaborations position libraries as a key part of economic support helping the people of San Diego. ready to work.

This is perhaps best summed up by the supervising librarian of the central library, Joe Miesner: “Books are just one powerful part of the library. We’re also a place you can go for free resources. We are a central point of trust and clearinghouse for the community, so everyone can feel safe coming here and accessing these free resources.

A world-class city has a strong economy fueled by a strong workforce. Libraries are a crucial element.

Fortunately, as evidenced by their continued support, San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and City Council members agree. As Mayor Gloria said in his State of the City Address at the San Ysidro Branch Library, “This library is a symbol of who we should be as a city. It’s a nice reminder to invest in traditionally underserved neighborhoods and proof of community perseverance.

San Diego is a world class city with a world class library system. The collaboration between the library and the Workforce Partnership will create access points for more people to build a prosperous future for themselves and their families. As many jobs now allow more flexibility in work settings, libraries are a great resource for those who work remotely.

The result will be world class – more people in careers that they enjoy, that are in good financial health, and with better social, health and economic outcomes.

As we had imagined.

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