Tech help available at library

By Sarah Hawley -

Austin Gilbert, left, provides technology assistance at the Meigs County Library through the Guiding Ohio Online program.

POMEROY — Having trouble with logging on to your computer? Need some help with how to use the internet?

The Meigs County Library may be the place to get help with those and other tech questions thanks to the Guiding Ohio Online program.

Guiding Ohio Online is a State Library, AmeriCorps-funded program which places volunteers in public libraries across Ohio with the aim of increasing digital literacy, especially among the elderly and rural populations.

This is the third year for the program at the Meigs County Library, with AmeriCorps member Austin Gilbert on hand 40 hours per week to assist with various technology questions.

One hour individual sessions can be scheduled or group classes if there are enough people interested in the class setting.

Individuals can bring in their own devices, allowing for the sessions to be tailored to the individual needs or wants of those seeking help. Gilbert is available for evening sessions each Thursday, as well as one weekend a month. He also goes to the Senior Center once a week to talk about technology and answer any questions.

Guiding Ohio members lead group classes and one-on-one sessions focusing on a wide array of technology topics, and also participate in community outreach to spread word of the program.

According to it’s website, Guiding Ohio Online’s vision is for every Ohioan to be able to fully participate in online government, search and apply for jobs online, understand the risks and benefits of internet finance, connect with family online, and protect personal information in the digital age.

Funded by the Cooperation for National and Community Services, AmeriCorps places thousands of young adults into intensive service positions where they learn valuable work skills, earn money for education, and develop an appreciation for citizenship. By placing Guiding Ohio Online AmeriCorps members in libraries, Guiding Ohio Online seeks to enhance the image of libraries as premier providers of 21st century learning and as a vital hub connecting the community to the digital world.

Guiding Ohio Online is a project of the State Library of Ohio through a grant provided by ServeOhio, Ohio’s commission on service and volunteerism

Participating Host Libraries for the 2016-17 program year with a full-time Ameri Corp member are Adams County Public Library; Athens County Public Library; Brown County Public Library and Union Township Public Library; Cardington-Lincoln Library and Mt. Gilead Public Library; Forest-Jackson Library and Mary Lou Johnson Hardin County Library; Hubbard Public Library; Kingsville Public Library; Meigs County Public Library; Perry Public Library and Madison Public Library; Pushkarich Public Library; Sandusky Public Library.

Libraries hosting a part-time member are Ada Public Library; Barberton Public Library; Birchard Public Library; Bucyrus Public Library; Canal Fulton Public Library; Public Library of Chillicothe and Ross County; Fairfield County Public Library; Garnet A Wilson Public Library; Jackson City Library; Lima Public Library; London Public Library; Massillon Public Library; Minerva Public Library; Piqua Public Library; Reed Memorial Library; Rock Creek Public Library; St. Clairsville Public Library; Wagnalls Memorial Public Library.

Sessions are free and open to any member of the community by appointment.

More information can be found at

Austin Gilbert, left, provides technology assistance at the Meigs County Library through the Guiding Ohio Online program. Gilbert, left, provides technology assistance at the Meigs County Library through the Guiding Ohio Online program.

By Sarah Hawley