"Layoffs Swamp Library"

This was the headline in the Janesville Gazette on April 30, 1980. Sharon Ebel, of the Gazette staff, wrote of the effects of layoffs at the General Motors and Dana Corporation plants in Janesville and Edgerton, respectively.

The two men in the 1980 photo are Guy Hinkle, left, and Scott Jordan on the right. Notice they are using a drawer from the library card catalog, a collection of index cards listing books by title, author or subject. This was before computer catalogs.

In 1980, Library Director Dan Bradbury said circulation skyrocketed in part due to area layoffs. More patrons - especially men - visited the library, and were observed reading to their children in the children's department.
Janesville Public Library in 1982

Books about automotive repair, home improvement, garden and landscaping, and career opportunity materials were popular. The first three months of 1980 saw a 15 percent increase in circulation compared to 1979. In 1980 the library's reference department received more requests for "8mm and 16mm movie projectors, which are circulated almost daily". There was no Internet, computer catalog, or VHS/DVD player in 1980.

"With many persons unable to take long vacations because of the energy and economy pinch, [the library] hopes to saturate library shelves with information describing Wisconsin tourist attractions." Other patrons requested information about job opportunities, pay scales, resumes and educational requirements in other fields.

In 2010 even more options for job-hunting are available @ your library:
  • Free computers to write a resume or search the Internet
  • A Job-Seekers lab held monthly - no registration required - for job-hunting help.
  • A Job Resource Center (JRC) located across from the library Reference Desk with books, magazines and reference material. Find help with choosing a career, returning to school, studying for an entrance exam, finding work or writing that resume. See also our online Job Resource Center - available 24/7!
Contact the library Reference Desk if you have questions or need assistance.

Helpful library staff are here to assist with your information needs - just as in 1980!

We're here for you.
--posted 9/20/2010 by sb

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