So much of life today is dependent on computers and adapting to that can be a challenge for people used to doing things in less technological ways.  The Champlain Public Library recently received $4,000 in grants to help develop its Seniors Computer Help Hub which will be designed to assist local senior citizens with computer use and adapting to technology.

The library applied for a $3,500 grant from Frank Cowan Company, which provides the municipal insurance for Champlain Township, through its Home Town Program which supports municipally-related community projects.  Local insurance broker Shawn Martel of Théorêt and Martel contributed $500.

The funds will be used to develop programming, purchase equipment, and pay staff involved with the Seniors Computer Help Hub.

According to Library CEO Cynthia Martin, computer skills training was one of the most requested things at a workshop held in the Fall of 2018 to see what kinds of services seniors wanted at the library.

In order to make it easier for seniors to use computers at the library, work will begin soon on installing an accessible workstation with a desk that can be lowered or raised.

Library staff are also going to develop a series of courses on computer-related issues important to seniors.

“We are going to ask for community suggestions and survey seniors to know what topics they would like covered. We have a survey ready that we will be asking patrons to fill out so we can get an idea of where interests lie,” explained Martin.

Those topics could include cyber-security, shopping, and accessing government services online.

If requested, the courses will also be offered at local senior citizens’ residences and will also include instructions on how to use tablets and smartphones.

Debra Murphy, the Eastern Ontario Regional Manager for Frank Cowan said the company is pleased to support a project that will help make older people feel more engaged.

Martin said that the help hub will be launched in September and local seniors will be able to sign up for the courses then.