JILLIAN ASCHLIMAN

JILLIAN ASCHLIMAN

Guest Columnist

If you’ve stopped by the library over the last few years and have seen a tall woman typing away at a very disorganized desk behind the circulation counter, that would be me—my name is Jillian Aschliman, and I am your local librarian. I’m celebrating my third anniversary of working for the Frances Banta Waggoner Community Library this month, and I’ve truly enjoyed the time I’ve spent here in DeWitt over the last few years. In fact, if someone had told me back when I was graduating from my Master’s program that I’d be the director of a library in a great town like DeWitt in just a few years, I wouldn’t have believed it. Because my journey here wasn’t exactly smooth sailing.

After I graduated from the University of Wisconsin- Madison with my MLIS, I was enthusiastic, armed with new knowledge about the library world, and ready to jump right into my new career field. It didn’t take long to be hit with the cold-hard reality of the library job market. Library jobs were few and far between, even in a place like the Quad Cities where there are libraries almost within a 10-15 mile radius of one another. I worked multiple odd jobs for almost a year before I was able to find a full-time position and I still consider myself very, very lucky. Not all job seekers have the same experience when making the transition to a new career.   

Those who have recently been on an active job search know that it is almost a full-time job in itself. Plus, if you’re in an over-saturated job market like I was back in 2012, a simple misstep on your resume or cover letter can make or break your chances to get your foot in the door for an interview.  Not only are job seekers searching for the right position, but crafting a well-rounded, eye-catching resume and cover letter is time-consuming—and overwhelming at times. Hopefully, a new resource at the library can help local job seekers get an extra boost to improve their application materials and interviewing skills.

Earlier this year, the State Library of Iowa provided each library in the state with a subscription to BrainFuse JobNow, a suite of online resources that provide job seekers with the capability of searching for job openings in the area as well as a wealth of career resources that includes life resume and interviewing skills coaching, personalized resume and cover letter advice, and more. Looking to possibly change careers? Take the eParachute quiz (based on the popular job-hunting series What’s Your Parachute?) to see what career fields are best suited to your skills and interests. Don’t have the time to set up a live appointment with a career coach to go over your resume or cover letter? Simply upload your document in their Resume Lab, and one of the BrainFuse experts will review and return it to you with suggestions in one business day.

In addition to the job seeking features, BrainFuse has free resources for veterans, students, and adult learners:

• BrainFuse LearnNow: a library of self-study lessons, videos, practice tests and the option to connect with a live tutor

•BrainFuse Adult Learning Center: provides academic assistance designed for adult learners including GED practice tests, Microsoft Office Help, skills building for numerous academic topics, and more.

•BrainFuse VetNow: provides support to veterans and their families in locating eligible benefits, employment transition assistance, and more.

The BrainFuse JobNow and VetNow resources are available to the entire community. Unlike other library database subscriptions, a library card is not required to access any of the site, and can be easily accessed from home. Simply visit the library’s website, scroll to the bottom of the homepage, and click on the BrainFuse JobNow and VetNow logo. Still need help? Stop on by the library—we’d love to help you get started on the right path.