This study was commissioned by the Canadian Urban Libraries Council (CULC) in spring 2015 as one a series of three research studies. This study examines whether library programs and services designed to assist patrons to enter or re-enter the job market, actually help to bring about this outcome. The approach is to ask patrons if they think, based on their experience, that the programs and services offered by the library made a difference in helping them find work.
Despite the enthusiasm for the project on behalf of Oshawa Public Library, and healthy, well-established relationships with a variety of community partners providing employment support, recruiting patrons to participate in the study proved challenging. It was found, in fact, that prospective subjects were reluctant to commit to participate. Library staff continued to attempt to make contact with and recruit prospective participants, and even put incentives into place to encourage participation. After a great deal of effort over several months, the research team decided to end the study.
It is clear that the assumption, that recruiting study participants would not be difficult, was incorrect. The research team under-estimated the patron’s sensitivity with regard to their reluctance to share their thoughts and experiences regarding their employment situation, and their job search.
Read the full report: CULC Community Employment Study