New program benefits immigrants

Albert Lea Public Library

ALBERT LEA, Minn.- The Albert Lea Public Library is hoping to give immigrants easier access to the internet. In September, the library started a new program to give members the opportunity to check out and take home iPads or Hotspots for free.

They are now collaborating with the Albert Lea Area Schools. Each Monday, immigrants in the Adult Basic Education classes can learn more about how searching the web can benefit them.

They are also learning about different apps like Overdrive which offer materials to get a GED.

“A lot of the immigrant population have found that Overdrive is useful,” said Michelle Gurung, Albert Lea Public Library. “Just because that has a lot of GED and general education materials. So we’ve been directing them to that.”

The library’s goal is to help them develop better skills for job hunting.

“When you’re coming from somewhere outside of the U.S. the idea that you can come someplace and take stuff home for free amazes people,” said Gurung. “That’s a concept that doesn’t necessarily exist in their country.”

The library has 60 hot spots that anyone with an Albert Lea Public Library card can use.

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