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Library Offers Help to Jobseekers

With unemployment rates in Westport and the county rising, the Westport Public Library, with help from librarians like Margie Freilich-Den, is beefing up its Jobseeker program with specially focused events aimed at helping people land a job.

"The reference center offers a lot of services for everyone. But for [jobseekers] specifically, we offer a lot of individualized attention," Freilich-Den said. "Both Sylvia and I are available for private consultation and if we're not available for some reason, any other reference librarian is willing to help."

Current data from the Department of Labor shows the unemployment rate in Westport is 6.2 percent, up from an even 6 percent in June. Though it's not the highest of this year, many jobseekers come from surrounding towns within the county, where the overall unemployment rate is 8.5 percent.

Coming up in September and October are six "Jobseeker Special" events and two "Energize Your Job Search" seminars that Freilich-Den and Sylvia Schulman, both reference librarians, conduct regularly. But you don't have to wait for these events to get help, Freilich-Den said.

Known as "Book a Librarian," these private consultations are also part of the Jobseeker program. Of course, you don't need to "book" a librarian in order to receive help. At the reference desk, help is always available: All you have to do is ask.

"People ask us for help all the time when it comes to finding jobs," she said. "I wish I could say people never had to ask, but not in this economy, unfortunately."

The Jobseeker program isn't new, but it's been modified over the years as necessary. The "Jobseeker Special" events, for example, were added about 18 months ago in response to program use, Freilich-Den said.

"These programs are popular. I wish I could say differently," she said. "We'd rather everyone be out working at a job that gives them satisfaction at a livable wage."

To see dates of upcoming Jobseeker events, visit the library online .

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