Branigan Memorial Library users can now get help from tutors, career coaches and study guides for free, through Brainfuse, an online education portal. The New Mexico State Library purchased a statewide subscription that allows people to use Brainfuse via public, college and K-12 school libraries. The program offers one-to-one tutoring, study skills-building, and career assistance through its HelpNow™ and JobNow™ services. All tutors have at least a four-year college degree and submit to a thorough selection and training process. All services are available in English and Spanish.
Brainfuse features 24/7 question submission capabilities, a testing center, a writing workshop, and group study collaboration tools. Patrons can use Brainfuse on the public computers at the library, or any mobile device with the Brainfuse App. When accessing from home, patrons only need to enter their library card number. Patrons may create an account to save their progress and any chat transcripts to use for future reference. No personal information or email address is needed to start an account; tutors send feedback directly to the patron through Brainfuse’s messaging system.
“It’s like having your own personal learning tutor and job search coach,” said Library Administrator Renée Frankel. “Personalized expert help with all kinds of learning, writing, studying, and job search situations is at the Library’s web site library.las-cruces.org. Just go there and click on Research Help.”
JobNow™ provides assistance with every step of a job search. Patrons can get help targeting a new career field as well as receive suggestions for building a resume or writing a cover letter. Trained coaches offer interview tips and will practice relevant interview questions with the user. Patrons also have access to aptitude and placement tests for various careers.
HelpNow™ caters to the needs of learners from age 1 to 101. Live tutors provide interactive feedback on a wide variety of subjects and topics. Live chat homework help features a whiteboard-style interface, so tutors can explain concepts with pictures, graphs or helpful diagrams. Learners may submit a question and expect to receive feedback within 24 hours. Brainfuse’s policy is to provide explanations of concepts – not just answers. The Writing Lab is also available to assist learners in developing better essays and general writing skills.
Patrons may visit Branigan library during regular hours and ask for help with Brainfuse. Card holders can use any computer in the lab to access this resource. Guest passes are available for those without a library card. Obtaining a library card is simple and only requires valid photo ID with current address in Dona Ana County. Visitors may connect to the library wifi on a personal device and navigate to the library’s home page.
Support for Brainfuse is made possible by a federal grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).”