By Chris Bavender
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, the Westfield Washington Public Library quickly realized the need to provide tutoring for students in the Westfield Youth Assistance Program had increased. The Westfield Library Foundation launched an initiative to raise funds to pay tutors to attract additional qualified tutors.
Library officials then realized others in the community could also benefit from free tutoring services.
“We had received requests from patrons who had heard about the service being available at other libraries. Also, over the past year we have seen an increased need for tutoring in the community,” said Brittany Super, manager of information/reference and teen services at WWPL. “But we have also heard from parents that the cost of hiring a tutor is often out of reach for families.”
The library researched products that all library patrons could use and selected Tutor.com. The service provides 1on-1 learning solutions for students and covers more than 200 academic subjects, along with test preparation.
“With COVID affecting so many aspects of life, including schools and learning, Tutor.com is an extremely valuable resource for our community,” said Erin Downey, Westfield Library Foundation executive director. “By providing free access to expert support at a patron’s exact moment of need, the WWPL has a tool that can equalize educational advancement opportunities, lower stress and anxiety for learners, build confidence and help every learner realize and reach their full potential.”
The service is available free to WWPL card holders and is available in English and Spanish. Tutors are available from 4 to 11 p.m. every day of the week in a variety of K-12 subjects, including honors level, AP classes, etc. Homework help, test prep, practice quizzes and a drop-off review service are some of the additional features.
“Tutor.com is anonymous and no personal information is ever shared between tutors and students. All learning and communication take place in a recorded and monitored online classroom, and all tutors must pass a thorough background check,” Super said.
Resources for adult learners on a variety of topics, including GED/TASC prep, ESL/ELL, citizenship tests, job searching, job applications, resumes, cover letters and interview prep, also are available.