Library offers at-home Internet access and online tutoring
In an effort to support Heights families whose children are learning remotely, Heights Libraries is offering tools to make online learning easier: the online tutoring service Tutor.com, and additional WiFi hotspots to help families who don’t have home Internet service.
Tutor.com is available for free through the library’s website, www.heightslibrary.org, and offers both one-on-one virtual tutoring services and independent, self-directed learning tools, such as webinars, study guides, essay feedback and practice quizzes.
“Since the pandemic has limited our ability to hold in-person programs, like our popular Homework Help series, we knew that we needed to find another way to help students, especially those who may be struggling with remote schooling,” said Interim Youth Services Manager Sarah Rosenberger. “Tutor.com gives kids access to live tutors in most school subject areas, as well as writing help and webinars on all kinds of topics.”
Every day, 2–9 p.m., students can chat live through text or video with a tutor who can help them with specific homework questions, or provide more general information about common subjects, such as social studies, science, English and math.
Students of all ages can have their essays critiqued and edited by Tutor.com staff. High school students can access ACT, SAT and AP exam test prep.
“One of the great things about Tutor.com is that it isn’t just for K–12 kids,” said Rosenberger. “It has plenty of resources for college students, like grad school prep, and for adult job seekers, who can use it to access resume, interviewing, and cover letter help.”
None of these services will assist students and families, however, if they can’t get online—that’s why Heights Libraries purchased 40 more WiFi hotspots this summer.
“The pandemic has forced us to restrict the number of people who can be in our buildings at one time,” said Heights Libraries Director Nancy Levin. “So, that limits the number of people who can use our public computers. Families who need Internet access at home, but cannot afford to subscribe to a service, can borrow a hotspot.”
A hotspot is a small device that allows a user to connect a wireless-enabled device, such as a laptop, smartphone or tablet, to the Internet. Customers 18 and older, with a library card in good standing, can borrow a hotspot for two weeks at a time. They can reserve one by calling 216-932-3600, or visit the circulation desk of any Heights Libraries branch to check out a hotspot.
Sheryl Banks is the communications manager for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library System.