The San Diego Workforce Partnership connected with the San Diego Public Library supervising librarian, Joseph Miesner, to learn about the library’s mission of supporting community members’ lifelong learning and self-development. Here Joseph tells us about their community outreach efforts.
Can you talk about some of the challenges our community faces and how you are working to overcome them?
The onset of the pandemic really exacerbated many of the issues that many community members face. The most prevalent of these is the inability for many people to access the internet and computer technology. This really affected the search for employment, connection to medical professionals, interaction with loved ones, adjustment to working remotely, the isolation of seniors and many other barriers that inhibit people from fully participating in society.
The library is a trusted institution where the public feels comfortable connecting with services, information, community gathering and all kinds of programming. We really worked hard to offer programs and services to the community once traditional services were no longer available. We began offering programs for all ages via electronic platforms, almost immediately. From story times and activities for the littlest ones, to college test prep for high schoolers and everything in between. Outdoor computer labs, hands-on STEM classes for youth, mental health resources and educational and enrichment programs for seniors were among many of our popular offerings. We genuinely embrace our mission to inspire lifelong learning through connections to knowledge and each other.
How can San Diegans get involved?
San Diegans can get involved by volunteering, joining a Friends of the Library group, supporting the library system by donating to the San Diego Public Library Foundation or by simply participating in the offerings at their local library.
What else do you want the community to know about San Diego Public Library?
For those who don’t know, public libraries provide a myriad of services, all at no cost. Everyone is welcome and no one is turned away. There are services and programs for all ages and interests.
Why is workforce development important to your organization’s mission?
Workforce Development is very well aligned with the library’s mission of supporting community member’s lifelong learning and self-development. Our partnership has allowed library staff to have career development experts available to help us meet the needs of our patrons.