Library Resources when (Newly) Working From Home

Librarians may not be able to save you from yet another Zoom meeting during your workday, but they can help you be as productive as possible while working from home during these uncertain times.

While many Americans normally work from home, they have been joined in recent weeks by millions of additional folks who are now telecommuting due to safety restrictions and lockdowns related to the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Whether you are brand new to the world of remote work or if you’ve telecommuted for years, your local public library can help you stay productive during this challenging period.

Even though libraries are currently closed to the public, they still offer many online and digital resources that you can access from the comfort and safety of your home office - simply by using your library card.

Don’t have a library card? Not to worry— many public libraries have made it quick and easy to sign up for one online. Check with your library for more information! Here is a list of some of the more popular online resources that public libraries have to offer for people working remotely:

  1. Business/Productivity eBooks and Audiobooks through Libby (Overdrive)
    Libby is a mobile app presented by Overdrive which allows you to connect with your local library collections using your phone or tablet, giving you access to a broad collection of ebooks and audiobooks, including the latest titles in business and productivity. Libby is user-friendly and easy to set up— just download the Libby app in the Apple or Google Play store, enter your library card number, and away you go!

  2. Gale Courses
    Navigate to your library’s website to find Gale Courses, designed to enrich personal learning and provide professional development. Gale Courses can boost your productivity with its resources and guidance in the fields of accounting, finance, computer applications, design, legal needs, writing, and more. Enroll in Gale Courses to attend virtual classes, earn certifications, and hone your workforce skills.

  3. Online Training, Personal Development Classes, and Legal Forms through RBDigital
    Recorded Books (RBdigital) offers a vast collection of ebooks, audiobooks, and other digital materials, including a large selection of online training as well as an extensive library of online fitness, wellness, and personal development classes. RBDigital also provides access to LawDepot, which allows library patrons to create their own personalized legal documents specific to their state/province and personal situation.

  4. Mango Languages for Business, Legal, and Medical
    Mango is a language-learning service that partners with public libraries across America to offer courses in over 70 different languages, from Arabic to Yiddish. Mango Languages also has specialized lessons in select languages (such as Spanish and Mandarin Chinese) covering a variety of business, legal, and medical topics. Learn how to run meetings, and conduct negotiations in another language, or brush up on your conversational skills in order to network and socialize with business partners or clients from around the world.

  5. New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and other newspapers
    Did you know that many libraries have an online subscription to the NYT, the WSJ, the Christian Science Monitor, and other major newspapers? Either login using your library card or use your library’s website to get a guest pass. Libraries also have access to many daily newspapers— including newspapers in your region— through ProQuest. Just check your library’s research and resources pages for availability and coverage.

  6. Morningstar Investment Research Center
    Morningstar Investment Research Center is an all-inclusive investment research database designed specifically for libraries. Morningstar provides independent and in-depth recommendations and research on stocks, mutual funds, and exchange traded funds, all in an easy to use, easy to understand format. Coverage includes over 24,000 funds and 10,000 stocks, with access to thousands of stock and fund analyst reports.

  7. Value Line Investment Survey
    Value Line is a comprehensive financial resource covering current and historical market and financial data spanning thousands of U.S. companies, mutual funds and other securities. It is continuously updated and includes research, commentary, price projections and analytical tools.

  8. ProQuest Entrepreneurship Database
    Both current entrepreneurs and individuals who dream of creating their own businesses can benefit from this powerful database. This tool covers subjects including angel investors, home-based businesses, and startups. The Entrepreneurship Database is searchable, yet it is also organized into a handy list of popular topics, so users can find relevant facts fast.
  9. SimplyAnalytics
    This application allows users to create interactive multimedia products, including maps, reports, and other data visualization tools. SimplyAnalytics can help you to answer questions and share information while accounting for thousands of variables. It’s extremely useful for delving into marketing, business, demographic, and health data, and it’s user-friendly design simplifies project organization.

  10. A to Z Databases
    Google and other search engines are limited to simple searches on the open web. AtoZ Databases provides the savvy business person and entrepreneur with the ability to ask more complex questions from databases, indexes, and directories and get answers they can use right away.

Bonus: Library Resources for Job-Seeking. Is your current job actually applying for a job? Whether you are just beginning to consider a career change or actively seeking employment, these library tools can help you in your job search.

  • Career Preparation Center from EBSCO LearningExpress
    The EBSCO Learning Express Hub and Career Preparation Center is full of resources for a wide range of job fields, including teaching, law enforcement, nursing, and culinary arts. Use this tool to explore job options and to prepare for workplace entrance exams and build your professional skills. EBSCO LearningExpress also includes a Job & Career Accelerator tool which features even more guidance to boost your workplace success.

  • Cypress Resume
    A great resume can’t be underestimated, and Cypress Resume eliminates a lot of resume-related guesswork. According to Cypress Resume, over 300,000 library patrons have used their online resume creator. Cypress Resume is an incredibly easy tool. This resource will prompt you with some questions about topics such as your location and work history. Then, it uses your answers to create an attractive resume that you’ll be proud to share.

  • Ferguson’s Career Guidance Center
    When it comes to your career path, it can be difficult to know where to begin. This career database gives an overview of many popular industries and careers, and includes information related to salary levels, education paths, and networking strategies. Utilize this database to explore videos, blogs, articles, and other tools designed to help you make career decisions and succeed in the workplace.

  • Career Cruising
    Career Cruising is a powerful comprehensive online tool that takes you through every step of the job search process, from self-assessment to determine the best potential career match to building your resume and searching for jobs. Career Cruising also has invaluable information about post-secondary training and education options and provides access to actionable job search advice from human resources experts.

Your public library offers a wide variety of business and productivity services giving you access to a world of online content. While not every library will have access to the same databases and services, chances are that your public library will have something similar that is just as useful. Be sure to explore your library’s website, and don’t be afraid to ask library staff for help via email, phone, or chat— although public libraries are currently closed to the public, many librarians are also working from home during the COVID-19 crisis and will be more than happy to answer your questions.

Librarians may not be able to save you from yet another Zoom meeting during your workday, but they can help you be as productive as possible while working from home during these uncertain times.

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