The McCracken County Public Library continues its efforts to bridge the digital divide, giving more people access to computers and the Internet through its new skills-building kit loan program.
Similar to its Digital Toolbox program, this initiative will allow patrons to loan laptops to the library. These laptops will come with a mouse, Wi-Fi hotspot, and flash drive – which customers can keep for storing documents.
The equipment will be checked for a period of one month to help clients with their professional development and job search, said Devin Cook, Adult Services Technology Assistant, Project Director for this effort. library.
“These come with different resources for job searching, distance learning, and anyone who might be a computer newbie,” Cook said. “They also get technical help if they need it, with me for up to an hour.
“Offering virtual appointments of up to an hour can give someone the extra help they’re likely to need if they’re new to IT. These are geared towards lifelong learning.
Anyone interested in viewing a skills building kit can visit www.mclib.net/kit for building skills or call 270-442-2510 ext. 119 during library opening hours. Customers must be at least 18 years old to request and view a kit.
The five laptops available through the program come with shortcuts to websites and databases that will help clients with their job search and skill building like Lynda, Learning Express, Cypress Resume Builder and Indeed.com, among others.
The library announced the program in early February – after receiving the laptops in December and preparing the kits over the past few months. Funding for laptops and wireless access points came from the Kentucky Department of Libraries and Archives and the Institute of Library Museum Services Workforce Grant. Twenty Kentucky libraries have received similar grants.
With the end of the pandemic not quite in sight, Cook believes this type of program will be of great benefit to those library users who need it most – those who do not have a computer. personal and Internet access.
“It’s for that group of people who are trying to get back into the workforce and haven’t used a computer for a few years or maybe never,” Cook said. “People just need to learn new things. Computer skills are increasingly required for more jobs. Good resumes are highly sought after.
“I think pushing this kind of program for people who might be hesitant to learn new skills could give them more advantage.” –