New library tech trends report reveals libraries are cornerstone for tech skills equity
Coinciding with President Obama’s recent signing of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, a new tech trends study from the American Library Association (ALA) finds that nearly 100 percent of America’s libraries offer digital readiness programs, such as homework assistance, workforce development programs, WiFi, and technology skills training, including maker spaces, website coding and social media classes.
President Obama and Congress recently acknowledged the vital contributions of libraries by enabling them—for the first time—to be considered One-Stop partners and eligible for federal funding to support job training and job search programs.
The bipartisan Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act also authorizes adult education and literacy activities provided by public libraries as an allowable statewide employment and training activity.
“Senator Jack Reed and I led the effort to include public libraries in this important new law because they are often the first places Americans go for skill development and job search assistance,” said Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ). “I’ve seen this firsthand with NJWorks@yourlibraryproject, which used federal Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) funding to help get job seekers back to work with access to online job resources and training in every community in New Jersey.”
(Next page: The fascinating findings)