Library helps entrepreneurs, job seekers in Kansas City - KCTV5

Library helps entrepreneurs, job seekers in Kansas City

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Librarians at the Kansas City Public Library are helping thousands get back on their feet in a tough economy by offering more than an online job search, and their unique business center is seeing success.

Whether someone is searching for a much-needed job to put food on their table or they've always dreamed of starting their own business, the Block Business and Career Center offers resources to make their dreams a reality. It's one of the few business centers to offer both a career center and a small business center.

"I started coming to the business center when it first opened," Nicolas Segura said.

Segura opened Somos Agency, his own talent and marketing agency for multicultural clients, with the help of the Block Business and Career Center.

"The library is always the first stop to make. We grew up coming to the library. A lot of people would say 'oh just Google it,' but there is so much more information here at the library," Segura said.

The business center, located on the third floor of the branch located at 10th Street and Baltimore Avenue, helps the unemployed find jobs and it also offers resources for entrepreneurs who want to start a small business for nonprofit.

"If you are applying for grant money, we have quite an extensive collection, from databases that help you find grant makers to sources that will show you how to approach grant research," Foundation Collection Librarian Kelly Mahon said.

The business center also offers expert guidance to help perfect a resume or business plan as well as a database for students who may be wanting to apply for college scholarships.

"We like to think of ourselves as somewhat economy proof in the sense of, when the economy is not so good, as it's been most of the time we've been open, we are well equipped for job seekers," Lead Business Librarian Eric Peterson said. "As the economy improves, as the economy is doing now, we are seeing more entrepreneurs, people who want to start small businesses."

So far thousands of people have taken advantage of the business center, but librarians said more people could benefit from the resources available.

As technology changes, many people who had the same job for 30 years or more are turning to the business center for help with online applications and job searches. Click here for more information.

A generous grant from the H&R Block Foundation made the Block Business and Career Center possible.

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