November 24, 2017

Jason Broughton | Movers & Shakers 2015 — Educators

Jason Broughton

vitals

CURRENT POSITION
Outreach Coordinator, South Carolina State Library, Columbia, SC

DEGREE
MLIS, University of South Carolina, 2014

AWARD
American Library Association Spectrum Scholar

FOLLOW
dew.sc.gov/about-service-locations.asp; youtube.com/user/scstatelibrary; www.WORKSC.org

Photo by Bob Stefko

Workforce Wizard

When Jason Broughton was hired as a workforce development trainer at South Carolina State Library in 2010 he focused broadly on helping the unemployed, including career changers, ex-offenders, high school dropouts, and anyone else in need of a job.

He took one look at the bare-bones website and jumped right in to revamp it, looking at it through the eyes of a “workforce person rather than a librarian.” From that perspective, he came up with a list of what an employment seeker needs and together with his IT colleague created www.worksc.org. The site offers a wealth of information, including videos on how to set up an email account and tips on email etiquette; résumé templates and guidelines; information for military personnel; assistance for young adults trying to find their first job and mature workers hoping to stay in the workforce; and a slew of resources for librarians.

Once Broughton’s vision was in place, he set out to address government agencies, including the Department of Corrections (to discuss the employment climate for prisoners awaiting release), the Department of Education (to meet with guidance counselors), and many others, in an effort to forge relationships and explain how the state library could help better serve South Carolina residents. “[Jason] models what it means to be a marketer of libraries and library service,” says nominator Faith Keller, a reference librarian at Francis Marion University.

Broughton’s strongest partnership has been with the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (SC DEW). He helped the administration there understand how it could provide services to citizens in counties with few unemployment offices. “There are more libraries than unemployment offices in this state,” says Broughton, whose efforts over several years bridged the information gap between DEW and librarians and created many more places where people can go for resources, support, and training. By the end of 2014, 44 libraries across the state had become “connection points” for unemployment services, says Keller.

Overall, Broughton, now in an expanded role as outreach coordinator at the state library, has given countless presentations, training sessions, and workshops on personal skill development, job seeking, and related topics to library staff, state agency personnel, and other partners, as well as to library users, including prerelease inmates.

At the same time, he also went to library school at the University of South Carolina. He graduated ahead of schedule and earned an American Library Association Spectrum Scholarship. “I saw the importance of what I could bring to librarianship,” he says. Shifting his point of view helped him realize everything that still needs to be done to teach workforce literacy. “If I wasn’t a librarian then, I definitely am one now!

This article was published in Library Journal. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

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Comments

  1. Nice and I am honored.. To visit the website that was created by the South Carolina State Library for employment seekers, once again, it is http://www.WORKSC.org

    • Roxanne Hibbs says:

      Jason, I heard you speak at a recent conference for adult education. Wow! You gave me so much to bring back with me and hopefully, more effectively serve our very deserving students. Glad you were recognized for your efforts.

      Sincerely,
      Roxanne

  2. Congratulations, Jason! You are an outstanding speaker and trainer! Your outreach is liberally seasoned with an abundance of humor. You definitely make workshops fun; you have brightened so many lives with your intelligence and lively guidance.

  3. Rashida Williams says:

    congratulations Jason God bless

  4. Hats off Jason. You are a true champion for the information poor and your pro-activeness demonstrates your true passion that has earned you this accolade. Continue on with your wonderful work of being a service to the community.

    Congratulations!!!!! A deserving Mover and Shaker!!!!

    Sincerely,

    Hosea Tokwe

  5. Pamela Smith says:

    Congratulations Jason. You are a deserving person. Congrats, Congrats, Congrats

    Sincerely,

    Pamela Smith