Workforce and Computer Literacy
The Library worked to bridge the digital divide by providing free computer training and assistance to individuals to help them become job ready.
In partnership with EmployIndy, the local non-profit workforce development investment board, neighborhood job centers were established at Central Library and five branch locations where 3,873 chronically unemployed or underemployed individuals received one-on-one technological training, specialized resources and educational opportunities to enhance their employment skills.
From learning to use a mouse to mastering advanced applications, 12,336 individuals attended 847 free Library computer training classes in 2011. "Easy to understand," "knowledgeable and patient instructors," "great information" and "you demystify the process" were common refrains from attendees.
Those seeking immediate assistance with finding employment learned how to use Library resources for online job searches, resume creation and improving interviewing skills at Central Library's monthly "Internet Job Search" class. 66 individuals took advantage of this free offering.
Spanish speakers benefitted from a variety of free computer classes presented in their native language. 276 individuals attended classes ranging from computer basics and Microsoft Word to Excel and Internet job searches.
45 adult learners of the English language were invited to learn English skills needed for the workplace during special classes at Central Library and the Haughville Branch. Topics included speaking with the boss, co-workers and customers; asking and answering questions on the job; describing oneself and others in the workplace; explaining work procedures; and writing letters to a boss.
Job seekers were able to connect with career specialists during 44 one-on-one online sessions for help in writing a resume or cover letter, searching for a job online, or preparing for an interview. This Library website service through tutor.com also features resources to supplement an individual's academic or career pursuits, receive job search tips, and review GED and citizenship test prep materials.
Those with little or no access to computers continued to use the Library to conduct their personal business and communication. In 2011, patrons logged 955,495 session hours on Library PCs.
Individuals needing to brush up on or learn a foreign language recorded 4,190 sessions on the Library's online World Languages Learning Service, which offers instruction on the most popular languages, including Spanish, French, German, Mandarin and English ESL. This free service is ideal for businesspeople, travelers or those seeking personal enrichment.
Students, business people and others searching for reliable information conducted 420,470 searches during 82,610 individual sessions using the Library's free online reference databases. Their contents include full-text articles from magazines and newspapers as well as information from standard library reference sources and databases.