Board supports bill to add libraries to workforce development funds list

The James V. Brown Library on Thursday asked its board of trustees to support a piece of legislation that would give public libraries funding to help develop their communities’ work forces.

Barbara McGary, the library’s executive director, said the bill would amend the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 to include public libraries.

If passed, the Workforce Investments through Local Libraries Act would bring a “new opportunity for public libraries,” McGary explained.

She also said it would give libraries funding to provide the public with training, help with creating resumes and access to literacy programs.

“It brings public libraries to the forefront of workforce development in communities,” McGary said.

McGary asked the board to contact local officials to show support for the bill. She said the county commissioners already are on board.

“They are providing their support,” she reported.

The board also received an update on on Connect Williamsport, the library’s new online community calendar. Shirley Alters, chief financial officer, reported there have been 1,000 visits to the site, with 35 percent of them returning to use it again.

The library is planning a March 6 open house for the website. The all-day event allows community partners to learn about the website, said Robin Glossner, development director. A marketing plan also is set to be used, which includes radio and television advertisements.