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Brooklyn Public Library offering career advancement tools for post-pandemic recovery

Photo by Kevin Duggan

BY BETH DEDMAN

The Brooklyn Public Library is already trying to prepare New Yorkers for the journey to economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic is over. 

Librarians are remotely helping Brooklynites generate resumes and cover letters as they remotely assist them in their job searches, as well as in their online business and career courses. Job seekers can email librarians for advice as they craft their applications.

“This is the very mission of what public libraries do,” Press Officer Fritzi Bodenheimer said. “We are here to provide access to information. We do that in good times and bad and we offer it for free because we want everyone in the community to be able to access it.” 

‘Bookmatch’ librarians are creating catered lists of career help books for patrons rebuilding their careers in the middle of the crisis. The ‘Getting the Job Done’ booklist and lists about weathering the pandemic and explaining the crisis to children are available online

After 9/11, the Brooklyn Public Library developed the PowerUp! Competition to help out of work New Yorkers jump-start their own small businesses. The competition is back and includes a business plan development course to support skill-building and the creation of local businesses. 

At the end of the course, participants pitch their business plan to a panel of judges. The winner of the competition receives $20,000 in seed money for their business, which is awarded in the immediate aftermath and every year thereafter. 

“We have helped a lot of businesses get off of the ground,” Bodenheimer said. “We are once again in trying times, trying to get people back on their feet.”

Applications for the PowerUp! Competition are due April 18.

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