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Business & Career Center grand opening at library

Colleen Stringer, adult services librarian, in the new Business and Career Center at the Brandon Township Library, 304 South St. Photo by Susan Bromley. (click for larger version)
November 03, 2010 - Brandon Twp.- Out of work or needing a better job? Looking to change careers or start your own business?

Township residents exploring employment options can find a wealth of resources in the Business and Career Center, which will have a grand opening from 7:30 a.m.- 8 p.m., Nov. 10, at the library, 304 South St.

Colleen Stringer, adult services librarian, said she and other library officials determined the need for such a center about a year ago while working on the library's strategic plan for 2010-2012. The library had seen an influx of people seeking help who were unemployed, changing careers or interested in starting their own small businesses.

A former quiet study room has now been transformed into the Business and Career Center.

"This center was needed because of the economy and we have made all the career and business resources accessible in one spot," said Stringer.

During the past year, Stringer has gone through the public library catalog, attended several workshops, and studied the American Library Association's business core competencies to find the best materials, references and websites for businesses and employment. She is prepared to direct library patrons to the resources they need, which may include a vast number of new books she has purchased for the library collection on topics such as writing resumes, starting a new career, and writing a business plan.

"We've bought a few thousand dollars' worth of books, hundreds of books, and began subscribing to new magazines including Inc., Entrepreneur, and Business Week," Stringer said.

Additionally, library cardholders will have free access to the Reference USA database, to which the library now subscribes. Stringer said the superior search engine gives users the names of all commercial and home businesses and is crucial to residents interested in starting their own business. The database gives median home values in various communities and allows users to see who their competitors are.

The library also subscribes to optimalresume.com. and users can practice interviews online, learn to write a cover letter, do a skill assessment, video resume, and even create their own website.

The center features a bulletin board where residents are free to post jobs wanted or available. Job fair notices, business basics workshops, training opportunities, apprenticeships and more are also posted.

The library continues to offer computer classes for free and has wireless laptops available.

"We would like to know what else people need," said Stringer. "This has been a learning experience for us. We have been working on this for a year, I think we're ready."

Details: 248-627-1461.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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