Great Story: Helping People Up

               Eric has come in repeatedly over the years, and was somewhat of a regular at the library computers. He’s in his mid-30s, has never had a job paying above minimum wage, has past mental health issues, and has never moved out of his mother’s house. His usage of the library’s computers was originally to just browse the web and play games, but it evolved into something much more valuable.

               One day Eric, who was really into Japanese culture, came in asking for help purchasing an album from a Japanese artist. He couldn’t find it anywhere online, and we found out the easiest way to get ahold of it would be to order it off of Japanese Amazon. With neither of us knowing any Japanese, we would have to translate the webpage. I showed him how to use Chrome’s webpage translation tool and he was amazed. He ordered his album and left. For a few weeks after this he spent about all of his computer time visiting translated Japanese websites.

               Since then an interest in computers developed. He began coming to the classes I would have of all sorts. He learned how to use Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Blender, etc. He came in for one-on-ones, where I taught him how to use Linux and other open source software so that he could use his computer at home for this type of work.
               After coming to so many classes Eric became determined to do clerical work. He started seeking employment through a local staffing company about two months ago, and is currently working for the first time earning above minimum wage at an office. We don’t see him much at the library anymore due to his work schedule, but he still comes to the classes whenever he can.


-Peter Klein