This Philly Library Lends Out Ties to Members on the Job Hunt
When you look good, you feel good — that’s a fact. And when you feel good, you’re more likely to confidently walk into your job interview and crush it. The innovative people that run the Paschalville Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia know the value of this, and are making resources available to residents of this Southwest Philly neighborhood.
With 48 ties available in the ‘tiebrary,’ members of the Free Library of Philadelphia can check out the job interview’s most important accessory for up to three weeks at a time, just like one might check out, say, a book. This resource is an invaluable addition to the Paschalville neighborhood, which, TakePart reports, has high rates of poverty, unemployment, and ‘returning citizens’—ex-offenders recently released from prison. The tiebrary, which Mayor Jim Kenney tweeted about, is just one of the library’s many resources aimed at helping neighborhood residents break into the workforce.
The Paschalville Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia offers one-on-one career help from Niema Nelson, the branch’s resource specialist who runs the Job Readiness Lab. “We offer extended hours on the computer for job-related activities,” says Nelson. She assists patrons with looking for jobs, writing resumes and cover letters, and enrolling in adult basic education classes, like pre-GED or ESL. Nelson also compiles job listings for individuals “so they have a jumping off point to start looking for jobs.” The library will print out two copies of your resume on linen paper for free, and also offers faxing, scanning, copy machine access, and flash drives for sale.
Jennifer Walker, the branch manager, mentioned the success of the Paschalville library’s job fair, a large-scale drop-in opportunity for those seeking employment. The Post Office, Shop Rite, Home Depot, and the VA were among the many employers who set up booths at last year’s event; employers anticipate hiring up to a quarter of the 250+ people who attended, reports Nelson. The next Paschalville job fair is scheduled for October 7th from 12 to 4 pm.
The tie library is just one of the many resources that the Paschalville Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia has to offer to those on the job hunt. Nelson does everything in her power to prepare library patrons for their interviews, but she stresses the importance of the ‘tiebrary’: “It’s very important for people to feel confident. If they don’t have the means to get a nice-looking tie to add to their interview attire, we’re here to assist them.” The Paschalville library also partners with Career Wardrobe and MenzFit (backed by Brooks Brothers) to outfit men and women in need of professional attire.