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Internet Interns: How to Help Bridge the Digital Divide

guest post by Christine Friese, Assistant State Librarian

Vermont Department of Libraries is pleased to be partnering again with VCRD and others in the Vermont Digital Economy Project. The Department will work with participating libraries in the areas of digital literacy and emergency preparedness.

In partnership with Community College of Vermont (CCV), we will continue the Internet Interns program that we began during the e-Vermont project. This program places trained CCV students in libraries to work one-on-one with library patrons to improve digital literacy skills, especially at the most basic level.

Many in Vermont have few to none of the computer and internet skills required for job hunting, career exploration, entrepreneurship, or working with government and social service agencies. In addition, for many in Vermont as well as across the nation, the public library provides the only free computer and internet access. Working with the CCV Interns, people in several Vermont towns have learned to fill in forms online, create and use the email accounts that are becoming more and more of a necessity for job hunting, and write resumes or search and apply for jobs. Other library patrons have learned internet search strategies, beginning Excel, and more skills to help them effectively learn and communicate online. Many of these students have reported that this one-on-one training is much easier for beginners, allowing them to work at their own speed, in a known, comfortable space and in the areas they most need.

Digital Economy Project Categorization: