Queens Public Library is adding another vital service to its customers in order to expand their access to job training.
Baker & Taylor, the world’s premier distributor of books and digital content, announced the launch of its Career Skills Training platform, which will enable public libraries to offer education and training programs designed to prepare individuals for success in the world of work.
Patrons at Queens Public Library can now access a broad range of competency-based, career-aligned courses and playlists, in subjects including foundational math, reading and digital literacy, at no cost. These resources allow job seekers and workers interested in developing new competencies a flexible path to enhancing skills for careers, including the soft skills that employers are seeking today and for the future.
“For job-seekers looking to navigate a rapidly changing labor market, lifelong learning is no longer an option, it’s a necessity,” Queens Public Library Chief Librarian Nick Buron said. “Our job is to make education and training accessible to our customers in ways that can help them chart a course to social and economic opportunity.”
The partnership between Queens Public Library and Baker & Taylor reflects the efforts of a growing number of libraries to help patrons learn workplace-relevant skills to navigate the job market. More than three-quarters of all libraries offer programs to help people apply for jobs, and a body of research from the American Library Association suggests that libraries across the U.S. play a critical role in helping individuals prepare for success in the changing economy.
“The ubiquity of high-speed internet at public libraries enables us to offer education and training at an unprecedented scale,” Baker & Taylor’s Executive VP Amandeep Kochar said. “This partnership is fulfilling the promise of libraries as a resource where people can build the foundational skills they need for success throughout their careers.”
Patrons at Queens Public Library can now access training in foundational career readiness skills, offered through Axis 360, Baker & Taylor’s digital media library. The curriculum was developed by Penn Foster, which partners with employers and community-based organizations to provide skills development and training for today’s dynamic world of work. The initial foundation courses offered at part of the Career Skills Training portal are the first of a series of programs that will continue to expand in the coming months.
“Public libraries have enormous potential as engines of economic mobility,” Penn Foster Managing Director Ron Stefanski said. “These pioneering libraries are taking a critical step toward fulfilling that potential, and setting the stage for future skills, certificate and credential programs to follow.”