2015-2016 Outreach Mini Grants Awarded

Thank you everyone for applying for our 2015-2016 Outreach Mini-Grant cycle! It was a very difficult decision from our COSAC team but we were able to fund the following projects:

Seymour Public Library District

Project: Senior Space

The goal of the project is to better serve Auburn’s growing population of senior citizens by creating a designated “Senior Space” within the library. The space, which will be accessible, comfortable and welcoming, will provide an expanded collection of books on retirement, health and positive approaches to aging, and a centralized area to promote and distribute information about library and community programs for older adults. The project will benefit individuals by creating a central location within the library, and within the larger community, for information, education and socializing. Providing books that advise and guide older adults has the potential to improve physical, emotional, spiritual and material aspects of one’s life. Creating a central location for information on services will direct older adults, as well as their family members, to available resources, and it will help agencies providing services to reach their audience. The library already serves as an anchor to many older residents, who visit the library even on a daily basis to read and to connect with others. Providing a comfortable space for them will enhance their experience at the library, and it will encourage others to come.

Awarded: $4,016

Berkshire Free Library

Project: Technology/Computer Training

This program is two sets of classes to last 6 weeks each for the purpose of teaching area residents the basics of how to use computers, laptops, tablets, ereaders, and smart phones. There will be room for 12 people per class. From grants we have received in the past we have been able to get three tablets and two Nooks.  We also own five desk top computers for public use.  With these devices, a couple of laptops that we have access to, and devices patrons own themselves we will hold classes for local residents on how to use them.  It will also be demonstrated on some of the newest devices what the future is in technology.  Anthony Miller worked for the Ithaca City School System’s IT department for 6 years as a Technology specialist.  He is certified by Apple and Dell and New York State on Apple products as well as PC’s in the areas of repair, programing and teaching.  He now works for the Broome Tioga BOCES in their IT Department doing the same job.  He will run the classes with the help of a couple of volunteers on how to use the devices, some of the hidden features, and how to protect your device.   He will also demonstrate some of the latest technology that is coming out for the everyday user.

Awarded: $1,480

Groton Public Library

Project: Computer Classes for Seniors

Our goal for Computer Classes for Seniors is to give our older population the opportunity to learn, understand, and utilize technology so they are able to live in an ever increasingly digital world. These classes will allow a portion of the population not native to computer technology to learn how to use computers effectively for their own purposes. An example, we have many older people who are computer illiterate and unable to do their income taxes online, an issue that we see increasing as our governments phase out paper and are turning to electronic submission only. Many businesses are following a similar trend and accept only electronic applications for jobs. This trend away from paper to electronic is leaving a generation behind. We are also seeing many people in Groton in their fifties and older being laid off from their employment for the first time and unable to compete in this digital world. These classes will help a portion of our population that have been left behind and need the assistance to catch up. One example is an older couple (late fifties) who have both been recently laid off. They are struggling to understand the technology needed to sign-up for unemployment as well as job search and then apply for jobs. These classes will help to change their life for the better and they are looking forward to taking them as soon as we can start them.

Awarded: $2,884

Lodi Whittier Library

Project: Heroic Performers for Geographically Isolated

Our goal is to provide quality, professional entertainment for our Summer Reading Program participants-raising awareness of our SRP, generating excitement around reading, and encouraging higher attendance and engagement

Awarded: $400

Powers Library

Project: Confidence with Computers

The overall goal of this project is to create confident and independent computer users that are 55 years and older. Today we rely so much on technology and for seniors who have little to no experience this can be intimidating. This project will catch them up with the information age and help them regain their independence and be more self-reliant.

Awarded: $2,800

Edith B. Ford Memorial Library

Project: Community Computer Link

The goal of this project is to engage technologically insecure patrons with computers and software that will better their lives. Last year the Edith B. Ford Library purchased a lab of eight Windows 8.1 laptop computers on which we have been able to run a series of computer classes with the generous support of the FLLS Outreach Mini Grant 2014. We would like to continue this program, as there has been a high interest and consistent attendance. We are able to reach elderly patrons and disadvantaged job seekers who wish to present themselves as technologically up to date. This year we would like to expand our project to include an outreach aspect, which would feature a “technology steward” who goes into the community (our service area of Romulus, which is geographically isolated and technologically behind), and spends several hours answering questions and providing hands on computer help. We will set up a hotspot with our mobile WiFi unit, and provide internet access.  We will encourage attendees to come with their questions, building community and connecting like-minded patrons.

Awarded: $3,408


Congratulations to all recipients!

COSAC looks forward to hearing about the success of your projects and reading next year’s applications!!

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