Mobile laptop labs
Problem StatementBetween 2009 and 2010, Pierce County unemployment grew from 6% to 11.4%. In 2011, it stands at 10.4%, the highest in Puget Sound. Job seekers were looking to the library for help. WorkForce Central, a local workforce development agency, wanted a way to bring more resources to individuals in rural parts of the county and approached the Library to collaboratively find a solution. With the worsening economy, the need for the individuals to be retrained after job and career changes increased, adding to the pressure. Serving the population of a large county (1,600 square miles), it was difficult to bring computers and training to many of customers, due to mobility issues and distance. Outlying branches were too small to house many computers, had insufficient tools to provide training, and limited staff to meet the need.
PCLS, through a partnership with WorkForce Central, purchased three mobile laptop labs that are used both in the library and at community locations. The mobile labs allowed library staff to:
- Meet the customer at their point of need.
- Create intimate, focused, and portable job and business centers.
- Replicate an at-home computer experience.
- Download specialized software, allowing staff to teach current technology and trends.
- Provide an unhurried environment to learn and practice.