Justin Stout: Learn more about your local library
Libraries are constantly evolving and so are the services and resources they offer to patrons. While libraries have always been a valuable resource for finding information and guidance through printed materials, advances in technologies during the last few decades have allowed us to offer so much more.
In order to ensure these enhanced services benefit everyone, 21st century librarians see providing assistance with using digital tools as a huge and growing part of their current role.
For example, our computer lab here at the Kinston-Lenoir County Public Library, the headquarters of Neuse Regional Libraries, is frequently full of local residents searching for their next job. A large number of job applications are completed online now, and this adds another layer of difficulty for applicants who are not comfortable with digital environments.
We have partnered with Lenoir Community College to provide an onsite career ready lab each Monday and Wednesday afternoon from 1-5 p.m. in the computer lab of the Kinston-Lenoir County Public Library.
Similar to services offered onsite at LCC, the career ready lab helps with resumes, job applications, job searches, computer basics, the Career Readiness Certificate and more.
By offering a second lab at the library, LCC hopes to reach those who don’t have transportation options to reach the College and also increase awareness of these services with those who visit the library to search for jobs.
Eugene Murray, the instructor, applies the knowledge he gained from his years as a human resources manager for MasterBrand in Kinston to help job seekers with the development of basic skills while also imparting advice on soft skills that can only come from extensive experience with real-life situations.
Eugene does a fantastic job of preparing his students for the workforce, and the friendly, open style he uses to teach helps lessen the intimidation factor that can be a major obstacle on the road to a new job.
The career ready lab is just one resource that can help job seekers; the library offers additional online career prep services through NC LIVE, a statewide consortium that provides access to digital services to all library cardholders. To see what digital resources are available, visit www.nclive.org and click on “Career Development.”
The library also offers its own computer classes, which range from helping people who have never used a computer before learn the basics to assisting individuals who have never used the Internet or email before get started and set up their first email address, to demonstrating more complex applications like Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel.
This fall, our headquarters library will begin offering even more instruction for anyone who feels uncomfortable with technology but wants to begin accessing its many benefits. The library will present a three-part course on the basics of starting a website beginning in October.
It will also offer a class for those who want to use Facebook for their business, and has just been selected as a partner for NC IDEA, a foundation that will work with the library to offer more resources and programming for those who want to start their own business.
We hope you will take advantage of these wonderful resources that are available free of charge to all. For more information on library services or to reserve a spot in the upcoming Websites for Beginners class, please call 252-527-7066, Ext. 134. For more information about LCC’s Career Ready services, call Josephine Wallace-Koonce at 252-627-6223, Ext. 138.