Whatcom County Library System



"A small business who is hiring is much more likely to seek employees well versed in the Microsoft set of tools. We knew that before we started our outreach program and decided that it was a better idea to provide training to the community on the use of Microsoft tools as opposed to providing training on other platforms."

— Spokesperson

Co-op Public Library System Trains Job Seekers in Donated Tech Tools

In partnership with its communities, the Whatcom County Library System brings the joy of reading and access to the world of ideas to every resident. A cooperative community library system, it has nine community branch libraries and a bookmobile service. WCLS keeps its collection of books, magazines, movies, music, and audiobooks fresh. It also puts on children's and teens' events and delivers books to those who cannot access the library due to age illness or disability. 

Many people in these communities are in need of employment. The region of Washington where WCLS operates is dominated by small businesses. These small businesses are more likely to hire people who are well versed in Microsoft tools. To address the job search needs of its rural communities, WCLS developed job shops in all of its locations. These job shops feature computers that have Microsoft tools, including Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office. 

The demand for help in finding employment and specifically for basic computer training brought many new clients to the library because its trainings use Microsoft tools. Job seekers receive help to create resumes and apply for jobs, and the training sessions are held in both Spanish and English. Clients may also receive a USB flash drive on which they store their work.