Uncovering Potential: With Training and Encouragement, Job Help Customers Find New Careers

A Pima County Public Library customer for three decades, Vera Scrivner describes how she felt upon discovering the public library as a child, “All the treasures it hid—it was like finding Aladdin’s cave.”

And, to this day, she’s still finding reasons to love libraries. Most recently, it was the discovery of Job Help at the Murphy-Wilmot Library.

She’d only been at her job for five years, so when the time came to look for a new one, Vera wasn’t too concerned. And then she began her search.

She recalls, “Everything was so different from what I remembered. Formats were not what I was used to. It was all online. Each employer uses a different program and they can be lengthy. The worst was when I would get timed out if I took too long.”

Taking a tip from her husband, Vera attended Job Help at the Murphy-Wilmot Library. It was there she met Ellen Hammes and Carmella Harmon, Library Program Instructors, who offer weekly drop-in sessions four times per week.

As Program Instructors, Ellen and Carmella assist with anything and everything related to job searching, from helping prepare cover letters to creating email accounts.

“I can’t praise them enough,” says Vera. “Their guidance was invaluable in maneuvering my way through what felt like an incredibly daunting task. They gave great advice on key phrases to use in cover letters and how to make my résumé stronger.”

Before attending Job Help, Vera admits, she was feeling frustrated. But after attending a few sessions, she noticed she wasn’t alone. “There were always other job seekers with the same frustrations, but none of us were alone. The people at the Library were there to help us.”

It should come as no surprise that Vera is gainfully employed now, working as a Children’s Librarian at the Algona Public Library in Algona, Iowa. “We love Tucson – I’ve lived in the Southwest my whole life – but my husband was retiring and we wanted to get to know a new part of the United States.”

Of her new job, Vera says, “There are so many things to love about my new job. I’m surrounded by books and get to work with children. As a child my local library was one of the special things my community gave me. Now, I get to pass that on.”

When asked what she’d like others to know about the Pima County Public Library, Vera remarks, “Libraries are no longer just a place for books. They are places where people are working hard to better their communities. If I had just one word to share about my feelings for the Library, it would be gratitude.”

Interested in attending a Job Help session? Check one out at a library near you!