Great Stories are written by Guiding Ohio Online AmeriCorps Members about their service.
Last month I had a patron come into the library who needed help setting up his new TracFone. He said he didn’t have experience with a computer and wasn’t very familiar with a cell phone either. I looked through the TracFone materials and found the website to register the device. Luckily we were able to find a way to register the phone that did not require an email address since he did not have an email account and had no further use for one. After getting the phone set up I walked him through the basic steps for using it several times so that he could understand how to unlock the phone and make phone calls with it.
As I helped him he told me a little bit about his life, and I discovered that this was the first cell phone he had ever had. In addition, he hadn’t been able to keep up with the phone bills at his mother’s house (where he lives), so he hadn’t had access to his own phone line for a decade or so. He was so excited that he could now make phone calls without having to ask people at various businesses around town, and furthermore he could receive return calls from doctor’s offices when he needed to. He thanked me over and over again for taking the time to help him set up the phone and for helping him understand how to use it.
A week later the same person stopped by the library and told me again how grateful he was for the help I gave him. He also wanted to make sure I would be around in the future when he would need to add minutes to his phone. He was still excited about the fact that he could now make his own phone calls without having to rely on anybody else.