Super Connect for Success

Organization Name
Whitman County Library
Mission Statement

The mission of Whitman County Library is to be our community's #1 resource for information, recreation, and discovery.

City & State
Question 1
The Before: What was the challenge, issue or problem your organization was facing? Or, what was the opportunity you were not able to take advantage of before you put a technology solution in place?

Answer: Whitman County residents needed accessible resources to address the current economic situation. Factors including unemployment, low paying jobs, displaced people, increased minority population, career retooling, technology changes and education requirements demonstrated a staggering need for library and community services. Due to greater limitations local agencies were not able to effectively address these issues. Whitman County Rural Library District is a trusted community partner, holds a positive reputation, serves nearly 16,000 residents and is located within 14 incorporate towns. WCL’s District is a unique vast area of approximately 2,000 square miles. Often isolated rural Whitman County communities are dependent upon library high speed internet computer and information services.

Question 2
What Microsoft software have you used/are you using in your organization to more effectively engage your beneficiaries, donors and/or volunteers and/or to make a difference in your community?

Answer: Microsoft Office 2007 or 2010 (Includes any of the following: Access, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, OneNote, Outlook, and Word)
Other: Vista, XP, Explorer, Frontpage, SQL Server

Question 3
The After: How have these Microsoft products allowed you to engage your stakeholders more efficiently or effectively to make a difference in your community?

Answer: Today’s global economy and technology dependence requires the public to be tech savvy, able to access information and use Microsoft products. By incorporating Microsoft products, WCL staff has the tools required to meet our community's most pressing needs. WCL coordinates and collaborates with local schools, businesses, agencies and individuals to provide formal and individualized instruction.  We teach computer, software and internet skills, job seeking tools, access and resumes, career preparation and guidance, small business support, and research.  Software like PowerPoint, Word, Excel and others are essential. The updated website, program materials, computers and helpful staff encourage community stakeholders to experience the library, programs, and access information.

Question 4
What about these products (the features or the way you used them) made them particularly helpful in enabling your organization to expand and improve upon its community impact?

Answer: Microsoft products are essential information tools and are universally used within the public, business, government, and education services. Countywide WCL supports approximately 85 high-speed internet computers using Microsoft operating systems and products such as; Internet Explorer, Frontpage, XP, Vista, and Windows 2000. The public and staff can efficiently communicate, access information, research, create professional documents, educate, and meet current technology demands. Skills taught through outreach services and individual assistance include; computer basics, Microsoft Online Typing Tutorials, Word/Works applications, creating and saving documents including resumes, email, PowerPoint, Microsoft Money, and research. These services create a community lifeline.

Question 5
Please provide any examples, stories or data that illustrate the difference the use of Microsoft software has enabled you to make (i.e., # of new clients reached, new program added, increased dollars raised, increased volunteers, etc.

Answer: Incorporating Microsoft products into a full array of library services has impacted nearly every aspect of our community. Since February 2010, 62 countywide programs have assisted with career building skills to 400 plus residents. Job seekers have found employment or at least more confidence from using Micorsoft products, individuals are improving research skills from direct instruction navigating Internet Explorer, and nearly 1500 students have created portfolios. WCL website usage has increased 17% and computer usage 18%. The library is the beginning of many local businesses and helps others maintain business. As a result one library customer donated $60,000 to help WCL provide continued services. Library services combined with Microsoft products are improving many lives!

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WCL Career Resources

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Whitman County Rural Library District