Spring 2012

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News from the State Librarian

From the Desk of Jeffrey W. Cannell, Deputy Commissioner for Cultural Education and Acting State Librarian

Spring 2012 issue of Trustee

Promoting Economic Development @ Your Library:
Best Practices for Delivering Digital Literacy and Workforce Development Services

Many public libraries around New York State have been helping to promote economic development in their local communities by providing digital literacy and workforce development services.  Thirty public libraries have been able to ramp up such services through their participation in the New York State Library's $9.5 million Broadbandexpress@yourlibrary program, funded with federal-stimulus funds awarded by the federal National Telecommunications and
Information Agency.

Since the project began in 2010, these 30 libraries have developed Public Computer Centers (PCCs) equipped with computer hardware, staffing, and videoconferencing capacity.  These PCCs, working with various community partners including the Department of Labor, Chambers of Commerce and local literacy organizations, have offered formalized class training and one-on-one instruction in workforce development, including r?sume writing, interview skills, and instruction in using online job location resources.  Digital literacy classes include basic computer skills, using Microsoft Office products and learning to utilize social media software. To date, these PCCs have reported a total of over 486,000 training hours involving over 86,000 people and have helped over 200 people find jobs.

The PCCs have developed a list of Best Practices in delivering workforce development and digital literacy training in their local communities.  The following is a partial list of their findings:

Have a clearly written plan for delivering such services that includes financial, PR strategies and staffing considerations.

Developing local community partnerships is a MUST! 

Libraries need to know their communities' demographics and needs.  Satellite training locations might be required to reach groups of people who need

Training sessions need to be flexible: offerings and schedules need to be changed based on attendance and patron's needs.

Libraries should have good trainers that are invested in the success of their participants and are able to establish the trust necessary to do so.

More information about the State Library's Broadbandexpress@yourlibrary project, including curriculum materials and information about E-mobile services, is found at:

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