ALA, Grow with Google kick off economic opportunity initiative in public libraries nationwide

For Immediate Release
Mon, 01/28/2019


Shawnda Hines

Asst. Director, Communications

ALA Washington Office

(202) 628-8410

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today the American Library Association (ALA) and Google launched a national tour of libraries as part of the Grow with Google initiative. The Grow with Google tour will consist of free, one-day events hosted at local libraries in cities and towns across the country, where Grow with Google experts will deliver in-person workshops for job seekers, small businesses, and library staff. 

Recognizing the critical role libraries play in supporting workforce development in communities across the country, Google is also investing $1 million in libraries. Following each state’s Grow with Google workshops, ALA will open applications through Libraries Lead with Digital Skills for micro-funding to libraries throughout that state to provide programming, outreach, and education in their own libraries, to address the digital skills gaps of job seekers and small businesses. 

ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo said, “We are thrilled to team up with Grow with Google as they expand their digital skills tour, to bring in-person trainings to libraries across the country. Today’s kickoff of “Libraries Lead with Digital Skills” enhances the role of libraries as digital community centers, empowering local libraries with resources they can use to help their communities thrive in today’s economy. It is exciting to see what started three years ago as a collaborative exploration of coding activities in libraries has grown into a broad range of investments in America’s libraries that fuel innovation and advance our nation’s workforce.” 

Announcing the initiative in November 2018, Grow with Google Vice President Lisa Gevelber said, “Increasingly, job seekers are turning to their local libraries for help finding jobs, applying for jobs, and training for jobs.  And libraries are stepping up… That’s why starting in January, we’ll also work hand-in-hand with libraries around the country, using technology to help ensure that economic opportunity exists for everyone, everywhere.” 

The Grow with Google tour will leverage the role of libraries as community hubs to deliver digital skills trainings directly to jobseekers and small businesses. Google will also train library staff and nonprofit leaders on a range of Grow with Google’s free tools and curriculum they can use to help their patrons on a daily basis. Google experts will lead hands-on workshops about online marketing for small businesses, search engine optimization, and spreadsheet and job search basics. Attendees can sign up for one-on-one training with Google staff. 

An application for micro-funding in each state will be available on a rolling basis throughout the year. Beginning today, Libraries Lead with Digital Skills is accepting applications in Pennsylvania. Applications for Connecticut will open on Monday, February 11, and for Maryland on Monday, February 25. 

To learn more about the tour and Libraries Lead with Digital Skills and check for open application dates as they are announced, visit  Follow the conversation at #GrowWithGoogle and @ALALibrary