PIQUA — The Piqua Public Library has been selected by the State Library of Ohio to participate in the Guiding Ohio Online AmeriCorps program. Funded by a grant from Ohio’s commission on service and volunteerism, Guiding Ohio Online was developed by the State Library to support rural public libraries’ efforts to teach patrons to find, understand, and use vital online resources and services.
“We were thrilled to be chosen as a Guiding Ohio site. Funded by a grant, along with a one-time match from the host library, it is an inexpensive way for us to provide an invaluable service to patrons,” said Library Director James Oda “There are many people, particularly seniors, that have missed the technology revolution. With small class sizes and a dedicated instructor, we hope to be able to increase Piqua’s overall computer literacy and to help more people access online services.”
Specific class topics may vary, depending on the core strengths of the instructor. Piqua Public Library and Guiding Ohio Online are currently looking for a flexible, caring individual committed to community service to hire part-time for an 11-month term of service as an AmeriCorps member, beginning in September. This person will deliver digital literacy training through computer classes, one-on-one computer assistance, outreach, and volunteer recruitment for the library. Anyone interested in learning more should contact Robin Heintz at the Piqua library at (937) 773-6753, or Mandy Knapp at the State Library at (614) 466-1710. Applications are available at GuidingOhioOnline.org.
According to Oda, “The AmeriCorps program has a lot of advantages: it is a position with a living stipend, and it has the added benefit of an educational award (helpful in paying off student loans). It is also a way to give back to the community, while gaining work experience.”
ServeOhio administers grants under the federal National & Community Service Trust Act of 1993. Today, the largest of these grants is the AmeriCorps program. Ohio currently has 21 partner organizations and over 600 AmeriCorps members. These programs provide opportunities for Americans to make an intensive commitment to service. The AmeriCorps network of local, state, and national service programs engages more than 70,000 Americans each year. Guiding Ohio Online requires one-time match from the Piqua Public Library to assist with funding the training and sustaining of the AmeriCorps Member.
AmeriCorps members serve through more than 3,000 nonprofits, public agencies, and faith-based and other community organizations. Through their direct service, AmeriCorps members help meet critical needs in target areas.
The vision of the State Library is a Smarter Ohio where every Ohioan can access necessary resources, be engaged citizens, excel at their jobs, participate in the workforce, and pursue their passions and interests. The State Library is committed to leading innovation and development efforts for libraries to ensure ongoing relevance to communities across Ohio. Guiding Ohio Online will provide unique opportunities for Ohio public libraries by ensuring a coordinated approach to teaching digital literacy skills while also allowing for AmeriCorps members to adapt trainings to the needs of individual communities.