In addition to the comprehensive computer training classes that are offered to ensure people can become certified in the Northstar Digital Literacy Standards, there are robust opportunities to learn to better use computers and other technology. The library offers many open lab hours each week for people to build skills at their own pace, as well as special classes such as Internet Safety and Connecting With Social Media.
The library also offers computer training in community settings, using both existing computer labs and the twelve computers in the mobile WORKplace. In English, Karen, Somali, and Spanish, native speakers provide classes where attendees may not have the resources or confidence to visit a library facility. The ability to complete basic tasks and applications that have moved exclusively online is a strong achievement in the process of engaging in the community.
The Friends were instrumental in securing funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to initiate services in community settings in 2010. The Otto Bremer Foundation also contributed to the expansion of these programs and one-on-one computer assistance in 2012.
At a Glance
In 2012, the mobile WORKplace offered 560 classes in many locations outside libraries. This provided 4,175 visits or 80 one-to-one interactions a week.