On December 4, 2019, the Grow with Google tour made a stop in New Jersey as part of an ongoing initiative to provide free training, tools, and resources at public libraries nationwide. Job seekers, small business owners, library staffs, librarians and nonprofit leaders gathered at the Long Branch Free Public Library for digital skills workshops and one-on-one coaching. Instructors shared with attendees how to leverage Google products and services to enhance their work.
Visiting Google presenters and coaches joined Long Branch Mayor John Pallone and New Jersey-local YouTube Creator Laura Vitale at the Long Branch event. State Librarian Mary Chute gave remarks, along with Tonya Garcia, Long Branch Free Public Library Director.
Google has made a commitment to deliver in-person workshops for job seekers, small businesses, and library staff in all 50 states. The Grow with Google tour consists of free, one-day events held at libraries with the goal of helping people learn valuable digital skills like how to use the internet to help their small business grow and how to use online tools to organize a job search.
The American Library Association is working with Google to launch in every state and then open up opportunities for libraries in those respective states to apply for available grant funds. The Public Library Association recently announced its Libraries Lead with Digital Skills grant, an initiative of ALA and PLA, sponsored by Google, with the goal of ensuring that public libraries across the nation receive ongoing access to free tools and resources. These small grants of $1,000 will help libraries to address the skills gap in their own communities through programming, outreach, and education.
NJ libraries are invited to apply for funding to host digital skills workshops in their communities. Applications are now open through Jan. 15, 2020.