Our recent blog post on the repurposing of libraries in the United States inspired a robust response from social workers involved in education. Lisa Gevelber, Vice President of Grow with Google, wrote this:
“Since we launched Grow with Google a little over a year ago, we’ve traveled to cities and towns, partnering with local organizations from Kansas to Michigan to South Carolina to bring job skills to job seekers and online savvy to small businesses. No matter where we went, big cities or small towns, libraries were at the heart of these communities.
Libraries have long been America’s go-to gathering place for learning. Now more than ever, people are using libraries as resources for professional growth. And libraries are stepping up: 73% of public libraries are making free job and interview support available in their communities.
That’s why starting in January, we’ll also work hand-in-hand with libraries around the country, using technology to help ensure that economic opportunity exists for everyone, everywhere. We’ll bring Grow with Google in-person workshops for job seekers and small businesses, library staff trainings, and ongoing support to libraries in all 50 states.
We’re also announcing a $1M sponsorship to the American Library Association, creating a pool of micro-funds that local libraries can access to bring digital skills training to their community. An initial group of 250 libraries will receive funding to support coding activities during Computer Science Education Week. Keep an eye out for a call for applications from the ALA as Grow with Google comes to your state.
Google is proud to partner with libraries all over the country to ensure economic opportunities for more Americans.”
A glance at the eLearning courses currently being offered by the American Library Association demonstrates the variety and depth of eLearning now be offered to the nation’s public libraries.
- Enhancing Your Organization with Short-Term Staff
- Get started on Adult Financial Literacy Programming in your Public Library.
- Anatomy of a Research Project
- Controversial Topics and difficult Dialogues-Strategies for Addressing Misinformation in the Library.
- Early Childhood Expertise Beyond Libraryland: Reading Life Between the Lines: Using Children’s Literature for Tough Conversations About Diversity.
Brave New World
This list and the Grow with Google initiative are indications of how far your local library has evolved beyond stacks of musty books watched over by a dour librarian with three pairs of glasses hanging from her neck whose main function was to say, “shush”, with her index finger placed vertically over her lips.
We are now all citizens of the digital age. To digital practitioners, bound paper books may appear anachronistic and the buildings that house them a little haunted. But as social workers involved in the transformation of libraries tell us, “nothing could be further from the truth.” Make going to the library an outing with your children. You may be surprised.