Date: Mar 26th, 2014
Saint Paul Public Library's Mobile WORKplace program is the focus of a newly released Google Stories video, Saint Paul Public Library: Sharing More Than Books. Google Stories features people around the world who demonstrate passion and a desire to improve their communities. Google's newest video profiles the library's Mobile WORKplace program, which provides computer training and job search assistance in several languages for people in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Lorraine Yurshansky, writer/director of the Google Stories video, was motivated to tell the story of how Saint Paul Public Library's Mobile WORKplace serves the critical needs of Saint Paul's new immigrant communities.
The Twin Cities is home to the largest populations of Somali, Hmong, and Karen people outside of their native countries. Many people from these communities are new to the United States and to the technology that is so commonplace here. Access to digital and workforce skills is essential for community members and the city of Saint Paul to thrive.
Saint Paul Public Library's Mobile WORKplace program offers computer access, skills training, and job search assistance at community centers, schools, public housing facilities, and other sites. Classes are offered in Hmong, Somali, Oromo, Karen, Amharic, Spanish, and English.
"We are going out to the community so there are fewer barriers to learning. We help people develop their skills, and they, in turn, make Saint Paul better and stronger," said Pang Yang, community services coordinator for Saint Paul Public Library.
Saint Paul Public Library's Mobile WORKplace has received generous funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; the Otto Bremer Foundation; and The Institute of Museum and Library Services in conjunction with State Library Services, a division of the Minnesota Department of Education, which administers federal LSTA grants.