Rochester, New York. An explosion in demand for computer help has led to a critical shortage of volunteers who work to meet the need. Digital Literacy, which places volunteers in local libraries to help patrons learn basic computer skills and complete computer-essential tasks, is experiencing an ever-increasing demand for its services.
“Over the last three years,” says program coordinator Brian Kane, “we’ve gone from serving 600 people to nearly 3,500. There is a huge Digital Divide in the Rochester area. Our program relies heavily on volunteers, and we need more volunteers to help.”
Digital Literacy trains volunteers and places them in local libraries, where they assist patrons in learning basic computer skills like navigating the web or using Word. They also help patrons complete computer-essential tasks, like creating online accounts, developing resumes, searching for jobs and getting social services.
According to the U.S. Census, about 20% (twenty percent) of Rochester households do not have computers. For the town of Greece, that number is nearly 11% (eleven percent).
Digital Literacy places and supports volunteers in 10 locations around the county. Volunteers need 3 years of experience on a PC, knowledge of Google and its apps, an ability to work with diverse people, patience and flexibility.