Representative Rush Holt (D, NJ) joined New Jersey State Librarian, Mary Chute and me at the East Brunswick Public Library. We were celebrating the new law which opens up federal funding for libraries’ work to assist the unemployed. We talked about all the things libraries are doing to assist their patrons in looking for a job and getting 21st century employment skills to get a better job. I explained how the newly signed Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act will give libraries the resources to do more for the public. Library Director Mary Ellen Firestone talked about all the additional classes they could offer in their computer lab with just a little additional funding to hire a trainer full-time.
Representative Holt had been to the East Brunswick library a few years ago to see their job training activities and used the examples of what he saw at East Brunswick in the Education and Workforce Committee meetings when he fought to have libraries included in the bill, which President Obama signed into law July 22.