Web Resources and Advice to Library Employees Facing a Layoff

It’s hardly news to library professionals that many state and local governments are laying off library employees in the face of massive budget deficits. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects “favorable” employment prospects for librarians (2010), but economic recovery is proving slow. Sadly, many more public, school and academic library employees may be laid off next year. So how does one prepare for a layoff? As library professionals, we love having a wealth of resources, so below is a list of websites and suggestions that may be useful to you if you are facing a layoff.

Save Money

The actual layoff may not happen for several weeks or months, but you can review your financial goals today. Aggregate financial data and track spending online through free software like Mint.com. This website tracks nearly every bill that can be paid online, and can organize purchases by type, helping you determine whether expenditures in “Coffee Shop” may be better allocated to “Savings” or “Water Bill.”

A layoff impacts more than your budget. How you will cope with the emotional impact? Take some time to list people and places you can go for emotional support. During any life change, talking to friends and family – especially if they have faced similar experiences – go a long way toward keeping you calm.  But fresh perspective can be just as helpful.

Dailystrength.com is a social networking website where users can anonymously post and respond to other user’s messages concerning a wide range of topics. Users may join any of 500 support groups on topics like depression and unemployment.

Stay Positive and Stay Healthy

Another important thing to consider during this stressful your physical health. You may or may not retain your health insurance, so trying to maintain your health is imperative. While you may have preexisting health conditions that are out of your control, sleeping and eating well, along with regular exercise, will go a long way to maintaining your health.

Search for New Work

As a trained library employee, you likely are quite capable of using the web for job leads, but I would recommend three sites to look at in particular:

Also, visit the website of your state’s Department of Labor website for job leads by state as well as informational meetings and activities that can help you prepare for new job opportunities.

Don’t forget that library employees often have transferrable skills, education and/or experience that will aid you if you need to leave the library field in order to get work. There is always hope that you can be gain employment that will be professionally fulfilling, even if it isn’t in the library field.


If you must leave the field to find work, or you cannot find work, do consider volunteering at a library near you as a way to network and keep current in the field. Volunteer service will be a great addition to your résumé, and who knows, you may land a job that way. It’s a good idea to seek out opportunities to network with people in the library field in-person and online. Also, consider joining library specialty themed listservs, which may occasionally feature job postings. And many library organizations offer discounted membership rates to unemployed library workers.

A period of unemployment is never easy, but there is always hope. The best advice for anyone who is facing a layoff is oft-repeated but true: stay positive, save your money, try to stay healthy, job search extensively and network. Remember that getting laid off can lead to better things in your life- try to look at it as a new job and a new opportunity.