Nevada State Library’s CareerLink captures interest of national and state library leaders, elected officials

For Immediate Release
Tue, 08/04/2020


Shawnda Hines

ALA Media Relations

Communications & Marketing / Public Policy & Advocacy

CHICAGO – On Thursday, Aug. 6, at 11 a.m. PDT/1:00 p.m. CDT, American Library Association (ALA) President Julius C. Jefferson, Jr., will pay a virtual visit to the Nevada State Library, where he will discuss with state and local library leaders and elected officials the impact of the library’s innovative workforce development collaboration with the state, its relevance to the current economic challenges and its potential for expansion. The virtual event, Learn and Earn: Nevada Libraries Harness Virtual 3-D for Education and Careers, is free and open to the public, with registration.

In 2019, the Nevada State Library launched CareerLink, an innovative, collaborative workforce development pilot project that uses 3-D virtual reality to engage participants in career exploration and instruction towards industry certification. Discussion panelists include:   

Library leaders

  • Tammy Westergard, Nevada State Librarian
  • Forrest Lewis, president, Nevada Library Association, and director, North Las Vegas Library District
  • Jeff Scott, Washoe County Library and past-president, Nevada Library Association
  • Patrick "Tod" Colegrove, director, Carson City Library

Elected officials

  • State Senator Moises (Mo) Denis (D-NV)
  • U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (pre-recorded video remarks)
  • U.S. Representative Dina Titus (pre-recorded video remarks)

Project partners

  • Mark Andersen, founder and CEO, Lifeliqe
  • Sara Jones, president, Califa Group
  • Karsten Heise, director, strategic programs, Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development
  • Sue Holligan-Folds, RN, MA, Retired Coordinator and Strategic Advisor, Dept. of Workforce and Economic Development, College of Southern Nevada

Project participant

  • Natasha Dackota York, student, College of Southern Nevada

“The Nevada State Library and libraries across the Nevada are improving lives every day, providing internet access to underserved communities, helping people find jobs and build careers, empowering students as they develop literacy skills that will lead to lifelong learning,” said Jefferson. “Many of these successes take place in the shadows. Their stories need to be told, their professional organization and local community need to listen, and their elected leaders need to support them.”

Carson City Library Director Tod Colgrove said, “Nevada's libraries are all about keeping kids learning and keeping adults earning.”

Califa Group President and former Nevada State Librarian Sara Jones said, "Virtual reality takes students to a new level of understanding, especially with abstract concepts that are hard for us to get our heads around. Reading a text or watching a movie is only engaging a few of the senses, where with virtual reality you’re completely immersed in the environment and engaging most of your senses.”

Lifelique founder and CEO Marc Anderson said, “Given America’s economic crisis due to COVID, we at Lifeliqe believe the future of workforce development is nationally-recognized, portable certifications that anyone with a high school diploma can obtain in just a few months. And once the displaced worker has done so, they’ll be able to build a career in a good paying job. We’re helping job seekers visualize their career exploration as well as providing simulations in virtual reality that are proven to increase learning outcomes.”

Nevada State Library is the tenth on Jefferson’s 12-stop virtual tour, Holding Space: A national conversation series with libraries, to spotlight how libraries of all kinds across the country are addressing the needs of their diverse communities and engaging stakeholders to advocate for libraries. At each stop of the 10-day tour, Jefferson will hold community discussions exploring local and national solutions to local and national issues addressed by libraries, such as workforce development programs, children and family services, outreach to rural residents, and broadband for rural and Tribal communities.

Throughout the tour, Jefferson will also invite participants to join ALA advocates, who are currently supporting the Library Stabilization Fund Act to provide federal resources to libraries during the COVID pandemic. For more information on tour stops and how to join, visit

For more information on tour stops and how to join, visit

To speak with ALA President Julius C. Jefferson, Jr., or other library leaders/advocates, contact:

  • Shawnda Hines, assistant director, communications, ALA Public Policy and Advocacy Office, at (202) 628-8410 ext. 8208 or
  • Steve Zalusky, Communications Specialist, ALA Communications and Marketing Office, at (312) 280-1546 or 

The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library's role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit