When bake sales don't pay the bills

Our library is paying an hourly rate for IT services each time we need anything technical done to the computers in our care.  And the hourly rate is not cheap: $100 for the first hour, $80 for consecutive hours, plus travel each way.  I can maintain my own computer, but not a library's system.  After we needed several hours' work done on our computers, I found the cost rising to a shrinking budget and needed to find a better solution than bake sales.

A community member is recently out of work as an IT administrator. Since we've been friendly for a number of years, I asked for his help with a computer problem. It took a little while, and some cajoling, but what started as a one time help has turned into a weekly IT volunteer. Not only does it help out our library immensely, but it gets him out and exposed. One of our patrons is talking about hiring him for some private work. It's not much, but it is something. Our trustees want to write an article in the paper for him to show at interviews.

He is still looking for work, and now he has that much more to put on his resume. He has also decided to continue volunteering even after employment since he can work it into his schedule in different ways. It is not as hard as he thought.

What a wonderful partnership!

Tara McKenzie

Campton Public Library

Campton, NH




This post is part of a series marking WorldWide Telecommunication and Information Society Day and their 2011 theme: "Better life in rural communities with ICTs."


Hi Tara - Thanks so much for sharing about your IT volunteer as your submission to the May Net2 Think Tank! I included your story in our round-up at http://netsquared.org/blog/claire-sale/may-net2-think-tank-round-improving-li. Let me know if you have any questions - and looking forward to keeping in touch!