The Madison County Library System sent out this press release on June 17:
Canton – The American Library Association (ALA) announced that Madison County Library System has been selected to participate in Libraries Lead with Digital Skills, an initiative of ALA and the Public Library Association (PLA), sponsored by Grow With Google, the tech company’s economic opportunity initiative.
This initiative will award MCLS funding in the amount of $2,000 to reach our community through applied digital skills, jobs on google search, and helping small businesses get adjusted to moving their business online.
Annual statistics from 2019 show over 55,000 public access computer sessions in our libraries. Twenty-five percent report using the computers for job related purposes such as job searches and online job applications, while another 23 percent using the computers for educational purposes such as online classes and research. Nearly 70 percent of our users reported no home internet access.
Our goal will be to reach those with and without access to adequate online capabilities. Grow with Google will allow us to provide free training tools and expertise.
MCLS will do our part to bring this service to our citizens by setting up a website specifically for job seekers and small businesses.
For some of our patrons the COVID-19 crisis has caused job loss and small businesses are facing unprecedented times.
We will actively keep our social media and website updated with links to all major job boards including the Win Job Center. There will be links to learning sites and specific tech courses for a particular job path.
We will hold trainings for local business owners to effectively operate their business remotely. Since some individuals will need access to computer hardware and Wi-Fi while learning digital skills we are talking with local internet service providers and other tech companies about discounted Wi-Fi and ways to get laptops that can be loaned out to those committed.