The Page Writer Project

The purpose of this page is to provide Mary H. Weir Public Library patrons with information on new books in the collection. It is the result of combined efforts of two programs, the Page Writer Project and the College Computer Science Internship Program, at the Mary H. Weir Public Library.

The Page Writer Project began in 1998 with the $17,322 Page Writer Workplace Literacy Grant awarded by the United Way of Middle Tennessee and the Dollar General Foundation. The project helped Community Work Experience Program (CWEP) Participants develop reading, writing, and communication skills and employment experiences while the participants provided a service to the community. The Page Writer Project's main objective was to help provide employment experience and public awareness of the need for training, education and job experiences for adults desiring to improve their educational and employment skills. The Page Writer Project's nine partners provided support and educational opportunities, GED preparation, reading and writing support, job search readiness workshops, resume writing, mentoring and awareness of the community's information materials, resources and services. The Partners included the West Virginia Department of Human Services, Weirton United Way, West Virginia Northern Community College, Regional Education Service Agency (RESA VI) with Change, Inc., Personnel Temporary Services, Weirton Area Literacy Council, Weirton Business and Professional Woman's Club, Weirton Lions Club, and City of Weirton's Mary H. Weir Public Library. The project provided the participants with information about the services and resources of the partners rather than attempting to duplicate those services

The Page Writer Project provided CWEP Library Employees experience working in the Weirton Library maintaining more than 3,000 shelves of books, tapes, CD's and learning the Dewey Decimal System and other organizational skills. The project emphasized the need to be able to write. The Weirton Library Technology Center's computers were used to provide instruction. Page Writers were taught how to write annotations and brief reviews of books and other new materials available at the Library from information located on book covers and jackets and from tapes and CD's. The Page Writers then use a word processing program to enter the reviews into a computer.

The original program for processing the annotations was written by a computer Science Intern. The Intern Program began in 1996 with the help of the Benedum Initiative. The Computer Science Intern Program was designed to create a community information network and to assist local organizations in the development of web pages while giving work experience to computer science students from local colleges. The West Virginia Legislature and the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts have provided funds to continue the project through June of 1999. In addition to community information web page development, the interns assisted library patrons and staff with daily computer concerns. Students from Bethany, West Liberty, and West Virginia Northern Community College have participated in the program.

Although the grant period for the original project has ended, the Page Writer Project has continued with both Community Work Experience Participants and volunteers contributing reviews.

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