Impact on Adult Learning 2021

Increasing language skills

  • With the help of community partners, the Library supported adult learners through virtual English language learning, citizenship, digital literacy, and family literacy programs.

  • Our prioritized audience included immigrants and refugees and BIPOC families. Program outcomes included greater community connection through social-emotional learning, increased comfort with technology, and increased language and literacy skills.

  • Working with Literacy Source, we offered 50 virtual English Circle sessions in 2021, with an attendance of more than 1,030. 200 unique participants hailed from 40 countries and ranged in age from 16 to 87 years.

  • We also offered an English conversation class that focused on vocabulary, pronunciation, spelling, idioms and more. This class had 18 students from 10 countries.

  • An intergenerational family storytelling workshop was co-designed with Lake City Collective, a minority-led “advocacy in action” nonprofit.

A new digital literacy resource

  • The Library added access to Northstar Digital Literacy, which provides online tutorials for basic digital literacy skills, instructor-led curricula, and online assessments.

  • We partnered with Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) on a pilot program to offer digital literacy training to 51 residents in three SHA residences. We also partnered with Casa Latina to translate the Northstar curricula for the most basic modules into Spanish.

Job and life skills

  • The Library leads a regional service called Your Next Job, partnering with King County Library System and Sno-Isle Libraries to offer one-on-one help for people looking for work or to increase their digital literacy or job skills.

  • During virtual or phone appointments, librarians helped people access digital literacy support, employment resources, online learning and referrals to partners. Appointments are available in nine languages and American Sign Language.

  • More than 330 patrons contacted the Your Next Job service in 2021, and around 250 attended their appointments (an increase of 58% from 2020). Sixty-one patrons contacted Your Next Job for in-language service.

  • 70% of Your Next Job patrons received job search assistance, 56% of patron received assistance with resume, cover letter, or interviews; 39% of patrons received job skills assistance; and 20% received help with unemployment. Patrons expressed a high level of satisfaction with their Your Next Job experience.

  • Your Next Job partners include Seattle Jobs Initiative, Building Our Bridge, Korean Community Service Center, the Puget Sound Welcome Back Center, Neighborhood House and Seattle Department of Neighborhoods.

  • 197 people also received personalized learning plans from the popular Your Next Skill service.

  • The Library offered 71 virtual classes to more than 1,300 job seekers and those seeking life and wellness skills, and digital creativity opportunities.

  • Teens from the Rainier Vista and New Holly neighborhoods gained workforce development skills during paid summer internships, producing a video on financial literacy to share with their community. The Seattle Housing Authority and Delridge Neighborhood Development Association were partners on the project.

Serving older adults

  • In 2021, our services for older adults focused on developing programming and resources in three areas: aging in place/retirement, creative aging and dementia-friendly libraries.

  • We created more than 175 virtual programs, with more than 3,300 attendees and 2,800 video views, partnering with social service agencies and other organizations and agencies that serve older adults.

  • Our most well-attended program continued to be the “Ducks in a Row” series presented by People’s Memorial Association, which addresses end-of-life planning. In follow-up surveys, 100% of attendees reported they had learned something they would use in the future.

  • Our newest program series is called “Aging in Place” and focuses on housing options that can promote aging in community.

  • We also offered six programs about Medicare; and, partnering with Silver Kite, almost 200 virtual arts classes for 50+ in visual arts, theater arts, writing and dance.