One of the ways ACPL empowers its patrons is by offering free technology training. Larissa Wagner, our 2015-16 Guiding Ohio Online AmeriCorps volunteer, shares more about herself and her ongoing outreach below:
ACPL: What were the reasons you wanted to do AmeriCorps?
Larissa Wagner: I wanted to get involved with AmeriCorps initially because it offered a lot of different opportunities. There was the opportunity to really serve my country and its communities (technically, I am a national service participant rather than an employee or volunteer), the opportunity to see more of the country and learn more about its people, and the opportunity to gain some work and life experience in an area I’m interested in.
Have you had other assignments?
LW: This is my second AmeriCorps assignment. Last year I served as an AmeriCorps VISTA with South Suburban Adult Basic Education in South St. Paul, Minnesota. I helped with program outreach and general office tasks, managed the volunteers, assisted in one of the English classes, and discovered that I really like helping people learn to be comfortable with technology.
Describe what you’re doing in Athens County, and what patrons should expect.
LW: This year I am part of a program called Guiding Ohio Online that puts AmeriCorps members in libraries across the state. The program aims to help people increase their digital literacy –their comfort and skill using technology like computers, tablets, and other devices. I go to all seven branches in the Athens County Public Library system as well as the Work Station in The Plains and offer a combination of classes and individual appointments. If you see me at a library branch, feel free to ask me questions even if you don’t have an appointment. I am here to help.
If you want to set up an appointment, there are a couple of ways you can go about it. There is a form on the library website you can fill out and submit. Each library branch also has paper forms that you can fill out and turn in at the circulation desk. After the form gets to me, I’ll contact you and we’ll set up a time to meet.
Each appointment lasts for about 45 minutes and can be shorter if you don’t need or want all that time. When you make an appointment you should have a specific question, problem, or goal in mind (e.g. learning to use email, not knowing how to get apps on your phone, wanting to be able to keep in touch with your family through social media, or learning how to use a program for a project). This helps give the appointment a focus. When you arrive at the library, we’ll decide where to sit and either use your device or one of the library computers to discuss and walk through the steps to accomplish your goal. If you still have questions at the end of the appointment we can set up another one –you are not limited to only one appointment.
Have there been highlights so far?
LW: Some of my favorite trainings and workshops have been ones on the digital services and collections the library offers. I really enjoy showing people how much more they can access digitally through the library –eBooks, audiobooks, music, movies, and more –there’s a lot. I also really enjoyed the Pinterest workshop I did a couple of weeks ago. Pinterest is probably my favorite social media site, because it really helps you find and keep track of different things you’re interested in. A lot of libraries have really amazing things on Pinterest, as well.
Anything else you want us to know?
LW: If you’re not sure, just ask! I definitely don’t know everything, but if I don’t we can try and figure it out together; I’ve already learned several new things so far. The program is funded by a grant and is guaranteed to continue through August of 2017 at this point. So don’t miss your chance to take advantage of this. There is no charge for any of this –appointments and classes are completely free. I can arrange to meet you at any branch.
Larissa’s updated schedule can be found at https://www.myacpl.org/techtraining/.