Press Release: State Library grants $50,000 for computer basics program

SOREDI serves as one of eleven federal Economic Development Districts in Oregon, serving Josephine and Jackson County. We are pleased to share news of this recent State Library grant award to the Josephine Community Library District. Libraries are critical partners in our economy, and we support them in a variety of meaningful ways. Supporting digital equity, business development, and workforce training are all metrics within the One Rogue Valley Strategy. Most successful grant applications are leveraged with letters of support, which SOREDI readily provided in February 2024. Congratulations to our library partner in Josephine County!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 7, 2024

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Kate Lasky, 541-476-0571 x110
Brandace Rojo, 541-476-0571 x114

State Library grants $50,000 for computer basics program

Grants Pass, June 7, 2024 — The State Library of Oregon has awarded a grant of $50,000 to Josephine Community Library District to support the new computer basics program which will benefit residents throughout the county, including at the branches in Grants Pass, Cave Junction, Williams, and Wolf Creek. The grant will fund the program from July 1, 2024, through June 30, 2025.

“Through this program,” said Library Director Kate Lasky, “we hope to connect more Josephine County residents with vital technology services and digital skills development so essential in today’s world.”

This computer basics program will offer computer and Internet skills classes, provide one-on-one technology assistance for library patrons, and reach out to the community at large about technology access and digital skills available through the library. While the library will focus on reaching out to seniors, Spanish speakers, and those with lower incomes, the classes and individual assistance are available to all who are interested.

“This is such an important program, as everyone needs to be able to navigate computers and the Internet to manage their daily lives,” said Lasky. “This involves everything from applying for a job to submitting a housing application; from checking on their children’s schoolwork to making doctor appointments.”

Partnering with Project Youth+, Josephine Community Library will work with paid “tech buddy” interns to assist people in the computer classes, provide one-on-one technology assistance, and participate in outreach events in the community.

The library will hold many of the computer classes at the branches in Grants Pass, Illinois Valley, Williams, and Wolf Creek. It will expand beyond the library facilities by partnering with WorkSource Rogue Valley, offering more opportunities for people wanting to learn more about computers.

The program kicks off with assessment and planning in July. Classes will start later this summer and will be free and open to anyone interested. Library cards are not required for participation.

The grant will pay for a digital outreach specialist who will manage the program. This project is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (www.imls.gov) through the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the State Library of Oregon (https://www.oregon.gov/library). For more information, email info@josephinelibrary.org, or call 541-476-0571.

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