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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Ocotillo Library to Re-Open as Literacy Center

When the Ocotillo Library re-opens on April 24, it will do so with a focus on workforce literacy, representing the first facility of its kind in the Phoenix Public Library system.

“We’re still going to be a library and offer those library services, but our collection will have a heavy focus on materials that will help our community prepare for a GED, advance their skills or get skills that they don’t have,” said Ocotillo Library supervisor Maria Dominguez.

New programming and services will also be offered, such as computer classes in English and Spanish, as well classes for creating resumes and preparing for interviews.

According to Dominguez, current plans include partnering with several organizations that offer specialized training. AARP is already involved in a pilot program at a separate location.

“So a person could walk in and get one-on-one assistance on how to create a resume, and that’s very rare for someone to sit down with you and dedicate all this time to help you,” Dominguez said.

One library-supported, workforce-literacy program already available is Phoenix Works, an online resource for community members seeking new employment. The website at HYPERLINK “http://www.phoenixpubliclibrary.org/phxworks/” http://www.phoenixpubliclibrary.org/phxworks/ offers assistance with filing for unemployment benefits, preparing a resume and cover letter, interviewing, and finding local resources for help with the job seeking process.

“If someone is just a little familiar with the computer, they can actually walk out with a resume in two minutes – completed, formatted, everything,” Dominguez added.

Renovation at the Ocotillo Library began last August when the 6,600-square-foot facility built in 1967 closed. Once complete, the new Workforce Literacy Center will offer triple the number of computer stations previously available to customers. The facility will also feature a study room, training lab and new meeting room.

The $1.6 million project is funded in part by a one-time 2008-2009 Community Development Block Grant Stimulus award to the City of Phoenix under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

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