2023 EPLS Spring Newsletter Digital (1)

3 ON THE ROAD AGAIN EPL Begins New Mobile Service to Community This spring, EPL is excited to introduce the Mobile Elyria Work & Outreach Center (EWOC). The EWOC will begin services to those looking for assistance with workforce, technology, social, and community needs. In 2021, EPL was awarded $100, 000 of grant funding by The State Library of Ohio’s Library Services and Technology Act as part of the American Rescue Plan Act to support workforce development outside of the library’s doors. The EWOC will increase the availability of electronic resources and staff assistance among geographic areas throughout the library’s service district. The Mobile EWOC is an outfitted vehicle designed for travel and one-on-one educational assistance. “The EWOC will enable EPL to bring technology and workforce development programming to the community; this will afford individuals opportunities to learn and grow that may not be possible otherwise,” said Community and Social Services Manager Matt Bahnsen. The vehicle will seek to engage individuals who have limited experience with technology. “A basic understanding of technology and access to computers is not something afforded to everyone,” continued Bahnsen. “It is our hope to be an inviting and safe place for all to experiment and learn.” Post COVID, the Library has seen a need for more support with government assistance documentation and submissions. The EWOC can reach our community when transportation issues may be a barrier to reaching a Library location. “Beingmobile and providing one-on-one assistance with needs regarding a more technology-focused world can open doors for many individuals within our community,” Community Engagement Director Jennifer Harmon said. “We hope the EWOC and our team can engage with individuals to connect them to the resources they need.” Other organizations supported EPL and the EWOC concept, including Horizon Education Centers, Lorain County Urban League, Lorain County Workforce Development Agency, and OUR F.A.M.I.L.Y.