Georgia Public Library Service announces Grow with Google grantees

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With Grow with Google and American Library Association (ALA) support, Georgia’s public libraries are hosting programming to grow local businesses.

Oct. 27, 2020
Contact: Deborah Hakes, dhakes@georgialibraries.org 

The Georgia Public Library Service has selected 12 public library systems as recipients of Grow with Google grants. These grants will connect jobseekers and small businesses with library resources to build digital skills and grow businesses online. The libraries selected include Bartow County, Lee County, Ocmulgee Regional, Flint River Regional, South Georgia Regional, Sequoyah Regional, Oconee Regional, Cobb County, Athens Regional, Coastal Plain Regional, DeSoto Trail Regional, and Clayton County Public Library. 

“We recognize the importance of Georgia’s public libraries in supporting local economic and workforce development efforts in many innovative ways,” said State Librarian Julie Walker. “We’re so pleased to add this partnership with the American Library Association and Grow with Google to build upon these efforts.”

Through its Grow with Google initiative, Google provided ALA with funding to support state library agencies, like Georgia Public Library Service, in recognition of the challenges facing libraries as they adapt services due to COVID-19. GPLS received $28,000 to host Grow with Google events and provide grants to libraries.

Georgia Public Library Service supports local economies in other ways as well, including through free online resources such as the Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative and Learning Express Job and Career Accelerator, and by providing crucial high-speed internet and Wi-Fi access in all 408 Georgia public libraries.

Here is a summary of how each library will utilize the grant funding: 

Bartow County Library System will host a program using Google’s digital skills platform to teach patrons how to create and write effective resumes.

Lee County Library System will host a virtual training session to facilitate growth for local small businesses and entrepreneurs. The library will use Google Primer to help budding entrepreneurs to be successful at digital marketing, brand building, customer engagement, and other tools to grow their business. 

The Ocmulgee Regional Library will offer a series of virtual workshops to teach patrons the basic skills needed to find and apply for jobs or make a career change, featuring Grow with Google resources. 

Flint River Regional Library System will provide programming for small businesses and entrepreneurs with Grow with Google and opportunities for professional development through the ELI Entrepreneurial Mindset Training Course.

South Georgia Regional Library System will develop a site building and web design program using Google Primer and Applied Digital Skill resources, in conjunction with the local chamber of commerce. The program will offer a wide range of web design classes to suit patron needs. 

Sequoyah Regional Library System will hold a series of entrepreneur roundtables focusing on  the do’s and don’ts of starting your own business, putting library resources at work for your business, and civilian reentry program for returning veterans. The library will incorporate Grow with Google resources for small businesses as part of this program series. 

Oconee Regional Library System will host a month-long program to support job seekers that will promote several of Google’s free online tools, along with the services and resources offered through the Laurens County Library and Goodwill’s Job Connection of Dublin. 

Cobb County Public Library System will partner with the Tommy Nobis Center, an organization that meets the employment needs of people with disabilities, and Georgia Tech’s Tools for Life program, to present virtual employment workshops to library patrons living with cognitive and physical disabilities. Workshops will address job search skills, resume and interview skills, and discuss assistive technology for the workplace. The Grow with Google suite of tools will be highlighted throughout, with an emphasis on user accessibility. 

Athens Regional Library System will host a series of programs aimed at promoting Grow with Google resources to budding entrepreneurs in their five-county system. They will recruit local entrepreneurs to record programs on writing a business plan, securing funding sources, promoting a business, networking, and developing personal qualities to succeed as entrepreneurs. 

Coastal Plain Regional Library System will offer virtual workshops focused on setting up businesses for success, marketing, and from product to profit. Workshops will introduce budding entrepreneurs to the Grow with Google resources available through their local library. 

De Soto Trail Regional Library System will host a Google Primer and Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative workshop to show job seekers and entrepreneurs how to find jobs and grow their businesses online. The program will include community leaders, entrepreneurs, and business leaders speaking about their experiences and skills they have learned. The library will provide tablets and laptops during the workshop and lend to those who may need the devices outside the library to continue their training. 

Clayton County Library System will host a series of classes for entrepreneurs on live digital programming. In conjunction with the classes, the library will build an Entrepreneur-in-a-Bag Kit for each library branch. Kits will introduce local entrepreneurs to Grow with Google, as well as help them to determine the kinds of equipment needed for successful business endeavors.

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The Georgia Public Library Service (GPLS) empowers libraries to improve the lives of all Georgians by encouraging reading, literacy, and education through the continuing support and improvement of our public libraries. GPLS is a unit of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. www.georgialibraries.org #georgialibraries

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