I Got My Job Through ... The New York Public Library

Originally published in the New York Daily News on November 9, 2008

That might well be the slogan of an ad campaign suited to an era when unemployment is rising and the U.S. is shedding hundreds of thousands of jobs a month.

As a reminder that local libraries offer extensive job-search resources, here's how Barack Obama found his community organizing job in Chicago after he graduated from Columbia University.

Cover of the August, 2005 issue of American Libraries, featuring Barack Obama

In 2005, he told American Libraries magazine:

"People always mention libraries in terms of just being sources for reading material or research. But I probably would not be in Chicago were it not for the Manhattan public library, because I was looking for an organizing job and was having great trouble finding a job as a community organizer in New York.

"The Mid-Manhattan Library had these books of lists of organizations, and the librarian helped me find these lists of organizations, and I wrote to every organization. One of them wound up being an organization in Chicago that I got a job with."

The help is still there, and in even greater sophistication. Check it out.