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Information Scotland

The Journal of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland

ISSN 1743-5471

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August 2005 Volume 3 (4)

Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland

Joined up working

Strongly branded Careers Information Points have been established in public libraries throughout Scotland, writes Jane Campbell.

SLIC, working in partnership with public libraries and Careers Scotland, is developing Careers Information Points in 100 public libraries in 27 local authorities.

The project, supported by the European Social Fund (ESF), will provide public access to information on a wide range of careers ideas and advice. This includes online access to: job vacancies; learning and training opportunities; labour market information; advice on career planning and help in developing job seeking skills. A Project Board with representatives from public libraries, Careers Scotland and SLIC is responsible for overseeing the development of project.

The 100 libraries involved in the project will be branded as Careers Information Points which will allow users direct access to a variety of careers software packages including:
Adult Directions: a computerised interest guide to assist with career decisions
Exodus: a database of International Careers Information
PlanIT Plus: providing information and details about Careers, Learning and Work in Scotland.

Additionally, there is access to the Careers Scotland website for information and advice on all aspects of career planning and lifelong learning.

To assist help navigate their way round the variety of resources and programmes a Careers Information Guide has been developed. This self-help guide is divided into six sections;
Career Ideas will support library users who are unsure about the most suitable job/career to match their skills, interests, achievements etc
Career Information assists users to find out more about careers of interest
Applying for Jobs provides advice and assistance on all aspects of job seeking skills including compiling a CV and applying for vacancies
Information on College and University includes guidance on how to apply, selecting courses and finance for study
Work and Study Abroad provides general advice on taking a year out or finding work overseas
Voluntary Work includes information on how to volunteer and the benefits it provides

Each of these sections has direct links to relevant programmes, websites and organisations to help the user quickly find the information they need.

Training for library staff in the use of the points and resources has taken place with Careers Awareness sessions being held in regions throughout Scotland. These sessions, led by Careers Scotland Information Co-ordinators, provided staff with an opportunity to become familiar with software and relevant websites to allow the information to be cascaded to other library staff and thus assist end users.

The sessions were well received and staff felt the “hands on” approach was very worthwhile. All staff attending sessions were provided with Training Packs giving full information on the project, lists of Careers Scotland contacts and a copy of the training presentation to assist with further in-house training session.

ESF funding has made it possible to develop a strong brand for the points and all libraries included in the programme have been provided with a range of promotional material including distinctive signage, posters, mousemats and promotional leaflets. This means that Careers Information Points will be easily recognisable to all users and the bright colours should attract interest.

An integral part of the project has been to build working relationships between public libraries and local Careers Scotland centres. Although the points are aimed mainly at clients who wish to self-help, referral procedures are being put in place to allow those who need additional help to be put in contact with their local Careers Scotland centre.

It is expected that a national launch of the initiative will take place by the end of November. Several successful first phase launches have taken place and Careers Information Points are now fully operational in a number of local authorities including Angus, Dundee, East Dunbartonshire, Falkirk, Inverclyde, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire and West Lothian.

Further information:
Jane Campbell, Project Manager, SLIC. t: 01698 458888

 


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Information Scotland Vol. 3 (4) August 2005

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Last updated:11 October 2005