Need help setting up an email account, renting eBooks or learning computer basics? You can now book a librarian for that.
St. Charles Parish Library has unveiled a new program called Book A Librarian, which offers one hour of one-on-one assistance. The program is available at every St. Charles Parish Library branch.
“This is a program that we’ve seen other public libraries offer, and we thought it would be a great fit here for a few reasons,” Lauren Campo-Pitz, assistant director of the St. Charles Parish Library system, said.
For instance, while the library system offers basic computer classes periodically, attendees come with different skill levels and different expectations of what a “beginner” computer class is.
“We also have patrons who visit the library when they need help, but our staff can’t always spend as much time as needed for various reasons,” Campo-Pitz said. “With Book A Librarian, patrons will get up to an hour of individualized instruction, and in most cases, with a staff member who knows a lot about the subject they’re asking for help with.
“We want to be able to help people where they are with exactly what they need, and we decided that one-on-one assistance was the best way to do that.”
Those interested in the program can fill out a request form at www.myscpl.org/book-a-librarian or they can call or visit any St. Charles Parish library location and answer some questions about what they need help with. One of the library staff members will then contact the person to get additional information and schedule a time to meet.
Campo-Pitz said the program will allow library staff to help with a lot of things, from technology questions to using library services.
“We can help patrons learn how to use the library catalog, request books and DVDs, download eBooks and audiobooks, and use an eReader,” she said. “We can help with getting a free email address in addition to mastering basic email, computer and internet skills. We can also help patrons learn how to use Microsoft Word and provide some basic smartphone and mobile device help.”
While the list of things library staff can help with is a long one, Campo-Pitz said they can’t offer financial, legal or medical device, repair devices or fill out online applications for patrons.
“If someone is not sure if we can help, they should ask.” Campo-Pitz added. “If we can’t help them, we can help find someone who can.”
In order to avoid a wait list, Campo-Pitz said meetings will be scheduled at times that will work for both patrons and staff. She said that she and members of the library are excited about the program.
“The library is a place where people can find answers to their questions, so we are looking forward to being able to give people the help they need when they need it,” she said. “We don’t want anyone to be left behind because technology is moving too quickly.”