Library Columns Sebring Public Library

Stressed About Finances Or Unemployment? How The Library Can Help By Jennifer McConkey

Jennifer McConkey            As Florida begins to slowly and safely reopen, many families are dealing with financial fears. Whether your hours have been reduced or you’ve lost your job completely, the library has free resources to help adjust budgets, apply for new jobs, manage stress and even gain new career skills.

If you’ve lost your job, you can also contact CareerSource Heartland by visiting or calling (863) 385-3672. The office building is currently closed to the public, but you can call the phone number for assistance Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

If you want a printout of the Reemployment Application, you can pick it up from outside the Highlands County branch of CareerSource, located at 5901 U.S. Hwy. 27 S. Ste. 1 in Sebring. You can also complete the application online.

Free Online Classes

The library offers many free courses through Universal Class, including:

-“Interview Skills”

-“Resume Writing 101”

-“Debt Reduction”

-“Personal Finance 101: How to Manage Your Money”

-“Stress Management”

-“Home Business”

-“Telephone Skills and Quality Customer Service”

Steps to follow to access Universal Class:

  1. Visit the libraries’ website,, and click on the “Language & Learning” tab.
  2. Click the black rectangle that says “Universal Class,” and enter your library card number, ignoring the spaces. You’ll also need to enter your name and email address and make a password.
  3. If you’ve already signed up, just click the blue “Sign In” button instead.
  4. After logging in, click on “Course Catalog” at the top of the page and search for the class you’re interested in. You can also browse classes by subject.
  5. Once you’ve found a class you want to take, click on it and then click the green “+ Join this Course” button near the top of the screen
  6. To get back to the course later, log in and click on “My Classes” at the top of the screen. Click the green “Enter Course” button for the class you want to take.

If you need help logging in or using Universal Class or if you do not have a library card, call the Sebring Public Library at (863) 402-6716 Tuesday-Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Free Wi-Fi

If you don’t have internet access, don’t worry.

Although the libraries aren’t currently open to the public, they are still providing free wi-fi. Just park at any of the three Highlands County Libraries and connect your device:

-For Avon Park, the library is located at 100 N. Museum Ave. and the public wi-fi is called “Library”.

-For Lake Placid, the library is located at 205 W. Interlake Blvd. and the public wi-fi is called “Lake-Placid-Library”.

-For Sebring, the library is located at 319 W. Center Ave. and the public wi-fi is called “SPL_LIB”.

You’ll need to agree to the terms of service before you can access the internet.

The wi-fi has been extended at all three libraries, so you do not need to leave your vehicle. The libraries are not open to the public, so make sure to use the restroom and charge your devices before leaving your home.

If you do leave your vehicle, remember to stay at least six feet away from others and to follow other CDC guidelines, which can be found at