This article originally appeared in the May 2022 edition of of Chamber Connections.
 
By Brad Kimbro

Did you know that within 10 miles of the city of Dothan, there are approximately 2,800 available jobs?
Did you know that there are more public libraries than McDonald’s in the U.S.?
And did you know that libraries, like the Dothan Houston County Library System serve a valuable role in our area’s economic development strategy?

National Library Week was April 3 – 9, and it was a time to celebrate the important role that libraries play all across our region. The theme for National Library Week 2022, “Connect with Your Library,” promoted the idea that libraries are places to get connected to technology by using broadband, computers and other resources. In addition to books, libraries also offer opportunities to connect with media, programs, ideas and classes. Most importantly, libraries also connect communities to each other.

As chairman of the Board of Directors for both the Dothan Houston County Library System and the Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce, I have had the unique opportunity to see the excellent work that each of these organizations do every day in serving our citizens. Creating partnerships and working together is the recipe for success in building better and brighter communities, and I am thrilled that our local library is working in concert with our many economic development partners to help drive the local economy. Public libraries support jobseekers through a variety of means. They provide access to public computers and Wi-Fi, as well as trained staff who can assist with the ins and outs of applying for a job online. The Dothan Houston County Library System patrons can now access JobNow, a resource that will connect jobseekers with live, one-on-one assistance with resume writing, interview preparation and every step in the job search process.

Public libraries serve as civic anchors providing a sense of social and economic stability for communities and economic catalysts by driving foot traffic to nearby businesses and other establishments. Public libraries enhance quality of life. Through its collection’s resources and programs for all ages, public libraries are essential to the growth of communities that are literate, curious and engaged. If you do not have your local library card, I encourage you to get one. If you are looking for a computer to use, visit your local library. If you are looking for assistance in finding a job, the Dothan Houston County Library System is one of many entities that can help.

Join me in celebrating National Library Week, and let’s continue to work together to make Dothan and the Wiregrass the best that it can be.
 
Brad Kimbro is the chief operating officer of Wiregrass Electric Cooperative and currently serves as chairman of the Board of Directors of the Dothan Houston County Library System and the Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce.

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