Remember bookmobiles - the libraries on wheels that brought good reading material to your doorstep? Today, the Free Library of Philadelphia is introducing a digital learning meal-on-wheels called the Techmobile, to bring computers, internet access and trained assistance to the city's underserved neighborhoods.
Just the latest in a series of Library initiatives providing digital literacy and web connectivity, the Techmobile "Hot Spot on Wheels" is being unveiled this morning at 11:30 a.m. at Rowan House in West Philadelphia, with endorsements from Mayor Michael Nutter and the city's chief innovation officer Adel Ebeid.
Our Techmobile is a 25-foot van outfitted with mobile broadband service, six PC laptops and six iPads and, equally important, a trained staffer to provide computer training classes and one-on-one assistance to visitors who climb on-board.
Sessions will focus on computer and email basics, resume writing and job searching. Workshops also will share the power of computers for small business assistance, parenting resources, social networking and e-books. The latter has become a major Free Library priority, of course, with its growing library of loaner electronic books and pilot program of loaning Nook tablets (and teaching how to use them) through the Senior Center at the Logan Square main branch.