Tutoring help: Library offers virtual connection for academic coaching

The local library has added a new resource to help residents with academic improvement and job-seeking.

The Bartholomew County Public Library has entered a partnership with Tutor.com that allows library cardholders to access the website’s services for free.

Tutor.com is an online business that partners with colleges, K-12 schools, libraries, employee benefits programs and the United States military to provide tutoring and homework help to individuals within these entities. It also has resources for career coaching, resume reviews and job seeking.

“Tutor.com is a live online homework help and tutoring service for all ages, from elementary students to adult learners,” the local library shared in a social media post. “The tutors are experts in their subjects and include certified teachers, college professors, and qualified students. Tutor and student work one-to-one in a secure online classroom, and no personal information is exchanged between them.”

Collection and Discovery Services Coordinator Tyler Munn said that the library believes this partnership to be a good use of their funds and hopes that both students and “lifelong learners” make good use of the resource.

He described Tutor.com as having two main pieces. One is live tutoring, which is available to library patrons from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. every day. Students can input their grade, the subject they need help with, and what kind of help they need. From there, they will be connected with an appropriate tutor.

“We’re told that the average connection time is less than a minute, so they shouldn’t have much of a wait,” said Munn. “And then they have the option of having a chat-only tutoring session or chat with voice.”

He added that he’s been told that if a person were to sign on for a tutoring session as late at 10:59 p.m., they would still have access to live tutoring for as long as they need. Tutoring sessions typically last about half an hour.

The other half of the Tutor.com service is a suite of online resources that are available at any time. This includes submitting math problems, papers or resumes for feedback. There are also practice quizzes and study materials for different subjects, as well as test prep resources for the SAT, ACT, grad tests, AP tests and citizenship tests.

According to Munn, the library had considered working with Tutor.com in the past but has not partnered with them until now.

“The budget allowed it this year,” he said. “There have been some shifts in the library budget. We have joined a group that has allowed us to save some money on purchasing digital books, so that has freed up some space for us to use some of our electronic resource funds on larger resources, like this Tutor.com.”

The annual contract amount with Tutor.com is $7,950. In deciding on a contract, the library chose an option that included seven hours of live tutoring.

Library staff hope that the resource leads to “lifelong learning” and academic improvement for students.

“We also know that there are various students who maybe have trouble maybe making connections with people, they maybe don’t want to have in-person tutoring,” Munn said. “They maybe will like the sort of a little more anonymous style of tutoring that this product offers.”