Columbus Library Patrons Connect with Family, Learn Job Skills Through ECO Training

By COH Staff

“I feel like a dinosaur,” said Carole Jones after being asked why she signed up for the Every Citizen Online (ECO) free basic computer training course.

Before taking the course at the Gahanna branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, Jones had never turned on a computer. Technology is advancing and changing beyond what Jones was used to. She says she didn’t know what people were talking about with the technology around her and felt out of the loop.

Jones has completed the ECO program twice in order to retain the information, she says. She gives her instructor, Becky Hibbard, rave reviews, commenting especially on her patience with Jones throughout the classes.

Since she currently does not have a computer at home, Jones enjoys visiting the library often and using the computers available there. Her post-ECO class goal is to open and navigate a CD-ROM her son has given her, which contains the family’s genealogy records.

Pat Klaus, also a Gahanna library ECO graduate, completed the training after recently losing her job due to a lack of computer skills. Klaus previously worked at a hospital that had updated to an electronic records system, requiring their employees to have online computer knowledge.

“I was able to get away with limited computer knowledge for years,” said Klaus. “When I switched to working as an outpatient nurse, there was no one I could turn to for computer help.”

When asked to use unfamiliar applications at work, Klaus would turn to others for assistance or wait on-hold with a help center by phone. Her work offered her computer training, but it bypassed the basics of computers and was too advanced for her.

In the process of looking for work, Klaus found job applications asking for her to rank her computer skills. She knew she needed to learn – and soon.

Klaus is thankful the ECO classes are available to help her take the necessary steps to re-enter the work force and to broaden her computer knowledge. She says the trainers of the ECO classes are a great resource because they are able to teach to multiple skill levels.

“I have no idea [how many things] I don’t know how to do in different programs,” said Klaus. “There are so many capabilities,” which she looks forward to learning about.

View photos from a Columbus Metropolitan Library ECO class on our Facebook page.

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