- QNetNews.ca - http://www.qnetnews.ca -

Brighton Public library wins award for innovation

By Demii Niles [1]

BELLEVILLE – The Brighton Public library [2] has won a provincial innovation award for its one-on-one technology tutoring program.

The program allows patrons to keep up with technology like emailing and Facebook. Employees and volunteers help people download programs they need and teach them how to use the software.

Brighton was one of 17 libraries in Ontario nominated in two award categories, and it won in the small library category.

The tutoring program began in 2015 and in its first year helped around 200 people.

The program is offered three times a year in six once-weekly sessions once a week, said Heather Ratz, the library’s acting chief executive officer.

The tech-tutoring program was set up because the library received feedback suggesting more patron-centred help was needed, Ratz said. It allows one-on-one attention because everyone learns differently, she said.

“It shows that even though we are small, we are mighty,” Ratz said in an email interview with QNet News. “We can now call ourselves an award-winning library. It demonstrates that libraries are much more than just books; they are places of learning (at any age), they are idea hubs and they are community gathering places.”

The program benefits the community in different ways, she said, explaining that it provides a safe and friendly environment while adding the social factor into to the mix.

“I think this award also gives us the motivation to keep listening to community needs, to keep improving and to keep reaching out to those who need us the most,” said Ratz.