SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – The Springfield Town Library is among over 160 public libraries nationwide awarded funding by the Public Library Association (PLA) to conduct digital literacy workshops using www.Digitallearn.org resources. The PLA Digital Literacy Workshop Incentive, supported by AT&T, provides support to libraries of all sizes to conduct digital literacy training in their communities and help close the digital divide.
The library will collaborate with students from River Valley Technical Center (RVTC) to present a minimum of three small group computer classes. Jason Black, program manager of the Black River Innovation Center (BRIC), will host classes on Cybersecurity.
The grant funding provides equipment to assist in hosting the classes including a small stipend for each presenter, tables, and laptops for participants to use, and a large screen television that will be able to cast information from mobile devices to show exactly how to perform the important tasks.
Library Director Sue Dowdell said, “I am extremely excited to have the library provide these important services to our community members. It is especially important to give students the opportunity to teach what they have learned in the classroom.”
“The mission of libraries has always been about equitable access to information, literacy, learning, and culture. In the age of Covid-19, this mission has only become vital as libraries have played a critical role in keeping communities connected and online,” said PLA President Maria McCauley. “A 2020 PLA survey found that about 88% of public libraries provide some form of digital literacy support, but only 42% offer formal classes. Staffing and funding were the top barriers to providing technology training. AT&T’s investment with PLA and public libraries nationwide will boost access to digital literacy skills for the most vulnerable in our communities.”
PLA’s free training site, www.Digitallearn.org, helps community members build skills and confidence using technology. Springfield Town Library will help patrons utilize these resources in an upcoming workshop that will be conducted in person at the library, 43 Main Street on various dates this fall and winter. More details will be announced this fall.