New York State Education Department

New York Computer Centers: Broadbandexpress@yourlibrary

The New York State Computer Centers project plans to provide approximately 860 computers in 30 libraries and five mobile training centers across 41 economically distressed Upstate New York counties. The project is designed to address unemployment, a lack of affordable broadband services, education, training, and technical support, and to increase access to essential e-government and other online resources necessary to facilitate work, health care, education, and citizenship. At every site, the project expects to implement comprehensive workforce development and skills-orientated adult education software, which will include certificate and language courses. This grant will allow the State Library to extend library hours, provide 24/7 access to job search resources, and serve an estimated 50,000 additional users per week system-wide.

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BTOP In Action
Image: A library staff member teaches visitors computer skills

The New York State Education Department opened computer learning centers in 13 libraries across upstate New York. These centers are supporting a statewide initiative to provide affordable broadband, computer skills, and workforce development training to senior citizens, job seekers, and small-business owners. Each library provides new computers, free access to a wide variety of online journals, reports, and databases, and educational classes that are tailored specifically to the needs of its patrons.

Visitors to the Baldwinsville Public Library can attend classes covering a wide range of subjects including computer basics, Internet security and safety, Facebook and Skype, and Microsoft Office® software. The library provides one-on-one resume and cover letter assistance and will also begin a series of workforce development speaking seminars in April 2011. Aimed at small business owners, these presentations will cover topics such as following correct tax codes, advertising with local media, and applying for health insurance.

Patrons at the Western Sullivan Public Library can participate in numerous classes covering topics such as computer basics, Microsoft Windows® software fundamentals, Microsoft Office® software tips, and virus prevention. The library also offers computer assistance sessions allowing visitors to walk in and receive help with troubleshooting issues.

These libraries are some of the examples of how BTOP funds are making an impact across the state. The project is also creating a total of 76 new library positions for local residents. As of February 2011, the Education Department has filled more than 46 of these positions.

To see local news coverage about Western Sullivan Public Library, please visit here.
Last Updated: October 18, 2011.

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