WILLIAMSPORT – The Learning Center, a program of the Lycoming County Library System, will be discontinued at the end of June 2019.
The Learning Center is an adult basic education provider that works to equip Lycoming County adults with the basic literacy skills they need to be better family members, workers and community members. It is a service of the Lycoming County Library System and partner agency of the Lycoming County United Way.
The reason for the closure is to streamline services already offered by Penn State University’s Career Pathways Program, according to Barbara McGary, Executive Director for the James V. Brown Library and System Administrator for the Lycoming County Library System. That service is funded by grants to provide adult basic education services for the Williamsport area and surrounding communities.
“It is important to us to ensure that our services are meeting community needs without duplication,” McGary said. “We had a discussion this past fall with leadership from the Career and Family Pathways Program at Penn State University and learned that they were providing similar services but on a much larger and more comprehensive scale. Since there is no need to duplicate services, we chose instead to seek a partnership with Penn State on areas in which we can expand and extend their current offerings.”
As a part of this partnership, the Lycoming County Library System is transitioning the current GED instructor to serve as a Career Coordinator. This position will help patrons that come in to the library looking for services such as resume help, where to go for GED preparation and testing, and job searching. This position will serve as an on-demand assistant for immediate help and will also partner with the Career Pathways Program to provide referrals for individuals seeking adult basic educational opportunities.
The Learning Center is funded through the end of June 2019 by the Lycoming County United Way. United Way donor designated funds will continue to support the Learning Center through the end of June and any remaining after the program year will transition to serve a continued partnership in adult literacy with the library and Penn State.
To assist current Learning Center students with the transition into the Career Pathways Program, literacy staff will be visiting the Learning Center program to talk with students and help them with the process.
The partnership between the Lycoming County Library System and the Career and Family Pathways Program at Penn State University is only in its beginning stages, McGary added. “We are currently expanding our connection with the Family Pathways component and are in conversation about how to extend our partnership for adult learners.”