What the Library Means to Me: Adult Literacy Learner Gets a Job

Randall Hinson, Librarian, Office of Education and Literacy,
Pictured from left: Learner Mark Clemons and Literacy Coordinator Priscilla Rojas-Naiman
Pictured from left: Learner Mark Clemons and Literacy Coordinator Priscilla Rojas-Naiman

For 35 years, the Adult Literacy program at the Los Angeles Public Library has helped adults all over Los Angeles improve their reading and writing skills. Today we're sharing two testimonials about Walk-in-Tutors at the Singleton Literacy Center in Central Library; one from Adult Literacy Coordinator Priscilla Rojas-Naiman and the other from Learner Mark Clemons.

Rojas-Naiman shared her experience in helping Clemons:

A happy-go-lucky man entered the Adult Literacy Center for some help with his resume, though he seemed a bit timid as he approached. He was retired but since he had a lot of energy, he wanted to get a part-time job where he could use his big smile and people skills. He asked to use the computer to create a resume. Since he had a Google account, I thought it best to help him create it in Google Docs. He started asking excellent questions about his phone and computer, so we steered him to a Walk-in-Tutor for help. He then indicated that he had an upcoming interview, so he used the Walk-in-Tutor to practice his interview skills, too.

The following Tuesday morning, Mark Clemons came in showing every tooth in his mouth, grinning from ear to ear. It was the day after his interview. I asked how he did, and he proudly showed me a picture of himself in his new LA LIVE uniform! He said he could not have done it without Adult Literacy’s help, but in reality...it was all him! He took the initiative to work on his computer skills, created a resume that would lead him to an interview, and practiced interview questions with the Walk-in-Tutors. He earned his new job! Congratulations, Mark!

Clemons gave praise about his engagement with the library:

I had a purpose in mind by coming to the library. I have a beautiful granddaughter whom I love very much. I also have a daughter-in-law who wants the best for me. My son suggested that I get a cell phone. He decided to get me one, under one condition - that I learn how to use it. I said to myself, 'Where can I go to get help? And who would be willing to help me with my computer?' I thought about it for a while and nothing came to mind.

A friend of mine told me about the different programs that the public library has to offer, such as the computer classes that are being offered. My friend Ed told me that the library would be open seven days a week, and the Singleton Literacy Center would be open six days a week, and Sunday is the only day that the Singleton Literacy Center would not be open. All I had to do was on Monday go to the library and sign up for these classes.

I really was surprised to see people who are so willing to help you with your computer and laptop, and I noticed that they had computers available for anyone who wanted to learn how to use one. The Walk-In-Tutors are really concerned about you, and they are so kind.

They take their time in helping you with everything. I have learned so much about my cell phone and the computer in the Singleton Literacy Center. I highly recommend it to anyone who is having problems with their cell phone or laptop, or anything that they would like help with, no matter what it is. The Walk-In-Tutor people are so kind and considerate about all your concerns and always have your best interests at heart.

That’s the kind of people they are. The wonderful work is always in the results. That’s what they do, they get great results. As they say, the proof is always in the pudding. The results for me was a wonderful job. l wouldn’t have had a chance at all if it wasn’t for the wonderful people here at the Singleton Literacy Center. I have a great job at the Microsoft Theater and Staples Center as Usher/Ticket Taker. This wouldn’t have happened at all without the Walk-In-Tutors. Thanks for all that you have done for me.