November 21, 2017

Nancy Fredericks | Movers & Shakers 2011 – Tech Leaders

Library Journal March 15, 2011: Nancy Fredericks, Mover & Shaker

Bridge to E-Gov

As access to government services increasingly moves online, the people who need services the most are often the least technologically capable of finding them.

The irony is not lost on Nancy Fredericks, until recently the e-government services manager at Pasco County Library System (PCLS), who “fell in love with information technology” during the 1990s when the Internet and electronic databases were changing libraries—and became a librarian.
In 2007, the state turned to tech-savvy Fredericks and PCLS to begin developing e-government resources. Working with the State Library of Florida, over the next few years Fredericks and her team developed GetHelpFlorida.org, a one-stop, novice-friendly access portal for Florida-specific and federal e-government resources. It provides access to a variety of the most commonly used government websites and resources, from unemployment benefits and small business loans to child support and food stamps.

“She is thought of throughout the state as one of our finest ‘go-to’ leaders because of her ability to forge ahead, even in difficult circumstances” to expand services, says Kevin Griffith, a colleague at Pasco County. “And quite frequently, she’s the one who suggests those new services in the first place.”

The services include a mobile “laptop lab” for PCLS, which brings laptops to rural areas of the county where Internet and computer access are limited. Both in the library and out, Fredericks sees firsthand the need for the e-government portal she herself developed.

“My favorite story is helping a woman in her mid-40s…[who] came to me with a web address and told me she wanted to apply for a cashier job at the local gas station.” The gas station only accepted online applications, and she “did not know the first thing about using a computer.”

Fredericks walked her through every step, from using a mouse to submitting the electronic form. She also helped the woman, who was jobless for the first time in 20 years, apply forunemployment.

Weeks later the woman came into the library to say she was using the computer regularly to apply for jobs online. “We not only helped her apply for employment and unemployment, but we taught her computer skills that could help her find a job,” Fredericks says. “Perhaps most important, we gave her hope.”

Vitals

NANCY FREDRICKS, PASCO COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEM, HUDSON, FL

CURRENT POSITION Acting Libraries Director

DEGREE MA, Library & Information Science, University of South Florida, 2001

SERVICEGet Help Florida

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