Library program needs our support

On behalf of SONS – Save Our Northern Seniors, I am writing this letter in support of the CLICK program so that those in our community who do not have computer skills will be able to benefit. Since the BC Recovery Benefit Plan is mainly done online, I am requesting that money be provided immediately for our community so that our Library can continue providing these services.

After spending almost an hour applying for the BC Recovery Benefit Plan, I fully understand the necessity of having the CLICK program at our Fort St. John Public Library. I can only imagine those people who do not have my computer skills, access to a computer, and nobody to help them through the maze of directions must feel! Internet access in many parts of the province is not the high-speed system as one would enjoy in the larger centres. In fact, many areas of the Peace do not have adequate internet access.

Many CLICK users are members of marginalized groups, including those experiencing homelessness, low-income folks, and people with cognitive, mental health and physical challenges. This program, which is unique to the community, helps to bridge that gap by providing personalized support, and devices and internet access.

In 2020, 60% of CLICK users were Seniors!

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Before Christmas 2020, the CLICK programme had to be cancelled due to lack of funding. Staff has been very diligent about applying for grants, but to date have not been successful. The Library provided the following information: “We currently have a “very well designed, safe and modern Connectivity Centre that is ready for serving patrons. We just need the operational funds to staff it!” The following information from the Library tells us what the CLICK programme does for our community.

CLICK ensures that everyone has access to essential computer literacy and meets the ongoing needs of the community by providing the computer skills required to interact fluently and safely online and perform essential tasks. Our popular one-on-one sessions help people in many ways such as:

  • Navigating important websites (accessing government forms and information, city water bills & legal information)

  • Setting up and accessing email accounts

  • Performing online banking set-up and transactions; arranging travel for medical appointments

  • Performing employment searches and creating profiles; completing online forms and orientations

  • Creating or editing spreadsheets and documents

  • Virus protection and installation on personal laptops

  • Connecting with friends and family over social media

  • Using video chat programs with family, or for remote interviews

  • Understanding personal devices and smart phones

  • Accessing online continuing education courses.

Inquiries about financial support can be directed to the Director of Library Services at director@fsjpl.ca or 250-785-3731

Again, funding must be made available immediately now and for the future. 

Thank you for your support and I look forward to hearing that there will be funding made available to continue this important project which benefits so many.

— Margaret Little, President, SONS – Save Our Northern Seniors

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