A woman came in one day this week hoping to use one of our public-access computers to apply for a job.
Her only option was to fill out an application online. At the very outset, I commiserated with her because several years ago I was looking for a job, and I found that the vast majority of employers wanted online applications, period.
The process of filling out all those forms, especially as someone with 45 years of experience in a variety of jobs in a variety of places, was daunting, to say the least. Each and every online form, including most of those for state agencies, was different. So, every form had to be filled out completely. I could spend a half a day on just one application form.
The lady who came in did not have that problem.
Instead, she did not have an e-mail address, did not know how to use a computer mouse and did not know how to type.
Oh my, I thought as I tried to guide her through the process (after getting her a gmail account), what kind of job can she possibly hope to get?
She left after about 55 minutes, even though I offered to extend her time and to help her. I'm sure she was even more frustrated that I was those few years ago.
We at the library can and do want to help people like her. But, sometimes the learning curve is pretty darn steep.