VETERANS CONNECT @ THE LIBRARY NEWSLETTER

VOL. 4 ISSUE 6 JULY/AUGUST 2021

Brainfuse's VetNow: How to Get Your Veterans Engaged!

by Karen Bosch Cobb

I just reviewed nine months of data from California Public Libraries' Brainfuse's VetNow and am sharing the information with you because I am convinced that it is directly related to one-on-one promotion by you and your fellow staff in your library, and by your PR activities including social media posts, flyers handed out in Grab N Go Bags, and other traditional media.

Total Usage of VetNow - ranges from monthly 3% to 12% ofthe total use of the VetNow, JobNow, and LearnNow components of Brainfuse in California public libraries. (Total Usage includes live tutoring, resume/writing lab submissions, tests, and database usage.)

What you can do! Veterans are obviously only a small percent of total possible users in California of Brainfuse products, and those searchingfor a job would be an even smaller percent, but you know how to connect with your local veteran coalitions and collaboratives to promote these products; in addition to attending meetings, an email or a few phone calls would be practical community engagement strategies.

VA Support (Live sessions) range from 1% to over 17%. This type of live engagement is most likely very effective.

What you can do! During any engagements with veterans or veteran family members ask "Did you serve?" If the answer is yes, tell them about Brainfuse's resources. Tell veterans and veteran family members and friends of veterans. Don't forget to tell other library staff, especially those onthe front desk or phone.

Database usage ranges from 0 to 5%. Databases include Military Resume Templates, Military Skills Translator, Vets.gov Military Skills Translator, Translating Military Experience to Civilian Employment, Get your Military Resume in Shape, Make your Military Resume Interviewable, Military resume and interview tips.

What you can do! Look over these databases and make sure you include them in your PR activities.

Brainfuse provides us a rich resource of marketing items which is updated monthly! It is password protected, but the password is the same no matter who accesses. Here is the link: http://home.brainfuse.com/client-resources/marketing-jobnow-vetnow-california- program/

Contact Karen Bosch Cobb at boschcobb@plpinfo.org for the password.

NEW

Monthly statistics link for the new fiscal year: https://bit.ly/vetconnect2021-22 - please bookmark this link.

July 2021 statistics are due August 7th.

Here is a new CalVet approved resource! https://www.swords-to-plowshares.org/toolbox

Veteran & Military Days to highlight

AUGUST

Planning ahead for September SEPTEMBER

The up-to-date calendar year is here: https://calibrariesforveterans.org/librarians/programming.html

CalVet events for Veterans (& your volunteers!)

Aug 7 - North Coast Stand Down | August 7, 20241 - Outreach Event 8 am - 4 pm

More info here: https://www.northcoaststanddown.org/veterans/

Transportation to and from the Stand Down is free for Veterans and their families. Stand Down Vans are pet friendly.

Upcoming webinars for veterans here: https://www.calvet.ca.gov/Pages/CalVet-Events.aspx

Archived webinars for veterans here: https://www.calvet.ca.gov/VetServices/Pages/California-Transition-Assistance-Program- Webinars.aspx

Covid Roundup: How California Libraries changed up their events during lockdown

Camarena Public Library, November 2020, put together a slide show video to pay tribute to our local veterans.

Kern County Libraries-Beale Memorial Library, July 2020 held a virtual screening of Visions with Warriors and Virtual Workshop called Theater of Healing. Virtual attendance was 847!

Kings County has two work studies in place and schedules weekly Zoom meetings with veterans Thursdays from 10am to 11am.

Commerce Library, Feb 2021, created a 30 minute video for the Veterans Upward Bound Program, where staff from the program talk about the classes and how to enroll. It was posted it on their YouTube Channel and promoted on social media. The VUB staff also posted it on their socialmedia platforms. Here's the link: https://youtu.be/PwGroPdMMuo

Library staff also taped a short "how-to" video for VetNow.

Mission Viejo Public Library kept their crafty ladies busy. They continued to crochet beanies for veterans throughout the pandemic.

Sacramento Public Library, distributed 70 Veterans Resource Kits at 5 branches in November.

Santa Maria Public Library made kits for the Naval Aviation birthday (May 8th) and Fourth of July.

Shasta Public Library, Redding branch, had a thank you letter writing program and sent them toOperation Gratitude for their veteran boxes.

Sonoma County Library, September 2020, have been sharing local job seeking opportunities with their local Vet Net club on Facebook.

Tulare Public Library, December 2020, partnered with Tulare County FoodLink and gave out 30 one hundred dollar gift cards to WinCo grocery stores. The veterans that received these gift cards were referred through local veteran agencies, including the library's Veteran Resource Center. Along with the gift cards, veterans received a paracord kit and a bag of local veteran resources.

Well done, everyone!