Just returned home from an incarceration and looking for a job?
You’ve done your time…now it’s time for a Fresh Start!
Your local public library can help.
Fresh Start @ Your Library is a statewide library reentry program that is focused on reconnecting returning citizens with their communities at public libraries. Libraries play an integral role in providing support and services to individuals returning to their home communities after completing their prison terms.
Returning citizens often have a difficult time transitioning back into society, primarily because of a lack of employment. New Jersey libraries are here to help prepare individuals for successful reentry into the workforce.
After reconnecting with your family, and checking in with your parole officer, your next stop should be your local public library.
The journey begins at the library, with a private session with a licensed social worker who will assist you in developing a personalized plan. This plan will identify your immediate needs and offer a personal strategy to help meet those needs.
Participating libraries will serve as Reconnection Centers, in partnership with the New Jersey State Parole Board, and will provide the following services to returning citizens:
Private one-on-one sessions with a social worker
Referrals to employment opportunities
Job Readiness and Occupational Skills Training
Community Resource Fairs
This is your fresh start. This is your journey. The library is here to assist you.
The New Jersey State Library, an affiliate of Thomas Edison State University, received a federal grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to support reentry services in six libraries across the state.
Fresh Start @ Your Library is a multi-state collaboration, including the following Project Partners:
- New Jersey State Library
- New Jersey State Parole Board
- New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development
Additionally, the New Jersey State Library has convened an Advisory Committee which includes librarians and social workers from:
- San Francisco Public Library
- Denver Public Library
- District of Columbia Public Library
- Monmouth University
Libraries can provide information and resources to help you with finding a job, furthering your education, acquiring stable housing, obtaining a driver’s license, and other life essentials.
The Library Locations
Check out our map of participating libraries:
Additional Resources & Information:
- Members of the press can access the Fresh Start @ Your Library media kit here.
- Learn more about the genesis of this program on our Program History page.
- Meet the Fresh Start @ Your Library Team!