Toledo-Lucas County Public Library

@CCESS CENTER: The Public Library of the Future

The Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, in partnership with a wide array of community-serving institutions in the region, proposes a much-needed expansion of public computer access for Toledo residents through its @CCESS CENTER project. The @CCESS Center project plans to renovate and expand an existing library computer center and add a mobile unit to provide broadband access and training.
Both the expanded library computer center and the mobile unit plan to provide one-on-one instruction in basic computer skills, Internet use, job search, e-mail account management, and healthcare and preventative care awareness. The library also proposes to provide classes for small business owners and those interested in starting a small business. Proposed class topics include writing a business plan, business finances, health and safety regulations, and starting your own small business, as well as a key course: Retooling Your Life, which plans to teach patrons about job searches, interviewing skills, educational opportunities, and public benefits.

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BTOP In Action
A view of the newly renovated Kent Branch @ccess Center

On December 5, 2011, Toledo-Lucas County Public Library reopened a newly renovated public computer center. The renovation of the Kent Branch @ccess Center included upgrading 109 computers, increasing broadband speeds and enhancing career-building resources. Since the opening, the center now offers free workforce development workshops and mentoring sessions to help individuals acquire the skills needed to find and retain jobs.

The @ccess Center has been able to acquire SMART® Board interactive whiteboards, build a new research lab for group collaboration, and offer classes to help visitors become more competitive in today’s digital job market. The whiteboards allow instructors and students to digitally write on the board and interact with digital training materials. The center offers a wide variety of classes to help visitors develop digital literacy and workforce skills, including classes in computer basics, Internet fundamentals, and productivity software, such as Microsoft® Office, resume creation and interview preparation.

The @ccess Center is also providing classes on how to find and apply for jobs online since many Toledo-Lucas County businesses in Toledo-Lucas County are recruiting online. The @ccess Center provides workshops and individual assistance with job searching, email basics, and online applications. The center has already helped many of its visitors apply and interview for jobs at local manufacturing plants, as well as a newly opened casino, since each of these businesses has moved their hiring practices online

The library’s ultimate goal is to help Toledo-Lucas County residents improve their lives through computer resources and educational opportunities. In addition to the @ccess Center, the library funded the Cybermobile, a state-of-the-art mobile technology center complete with broadband Internet access. Funded by BTOP, this “classroom on wheels” is equipped with 12 desktop computers and provides broadband and digital literacy training to residents who are unable to commute to the @ccess Center.

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