In-person workshops build upon collection of virtual digital literacy courses created in collaboration with the Public Library Association
Westerville, OH – As part of AT&T’s* support for improving digital literacy nationwide, the company is helping Public Library Association (PLA) bring free bilingual, in-person digital literacy workshops to more than 200 libraries across 45 states, including in Westerville, Ohio. These contributions are part of AT&T’s commitment to address the digital divide through investments in internet accessibility, affordability, and the safe use of technology.
The workshops will utilize online digital literacy courses available through AT&T ScreenReady® and PLA Digital Learn. Created in collaboration with PLA, the courses teach skills ranging from email and video conferencing basics to cybersecurity.
Why is this important?
According to the U.S. Department of Education1, about 16 percent of U.S. adults are not digitally literate. In addition, about 40% of disconnected students face significant adoption barriers including insufficient digital literacy skills, according to a report from Common Sense Media.2 Advancing these skills are crucial to helping bridge the digital divide. It’s important that students and their families not only have access to the internet and computers, but also have the tools needed to use that technology effectively, safely, and responsibly.
Workshops, available with live Zoom translation in Somali and Bhutanese Nepali, will be offered on three digital literacy topics, as well as how to apply and use the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) benefit for low-cost broadband services. Courses cover basic technology skills which include topics such as email, video conferencing, and cybersecurity.
The workshops at the Westerville Public Library are part of the second cohort of an expanded national initiative and collaboration between PLA and AT&T. In 2022, 160 libraries were selected to be part of the PLA Digital Literacy Workshop Incentive, supported by AT&T. The initial group of libraries held more than 1,500 workshops which helped over 8,000 learners build skills and confidence using technology. This new cohort will increase the number of learners libraries can continue to reach.
“Our nation’s public libraries serve as powerful partners in advancing digital equity and lifelong learning for all,” said PLA Past President Maria McCauley. “PLA is excited to team up with AT&T to enhance and expand our digital literacy resources to reach new families and communities through AT&T, their Connected Learning Centers, and local organizations.”
Public libraries play a vital role in providing access to the internet, devices, and digital content, and knowledgeable staff to all — particularly to people of color and youth in low-income households. In 2019, nearly 54 million Americans accessed the internet in public places, and public libraries alone hosted nearly 224 million public internet use sessions.
To learn more, visit att.com/connectedlearning
To Our Community Partners
Please help spread the word about these free technology classes with live translation for Somali speakers (in October) and Nepali speakers (in November). All classes are free and registration is NOT required.
- Location: Westerville Public Library (126 S. State St, Westerville, OH 43081)
- Day/Time: Wednesdays from 6-7:30pm
Download the press kit (Materials available in both Somali & Nepali languages).
About Philanthropy & Social Innovation at AT&T
We’re committed to advancing education, creating opportunities, strengthening communities and improving lives. As part of our companywide $2 billion commitment from 2021 to 2023 to address the digital divide, we launched AT&T Connected Learning to invest in connectivity and technology, digital literacy and education solutions to help today’s learners succeed inside and outside of the classroom. Since 2008, we’ve committed to programs that help millions of students across all 50 states and around the world, particularly those in underserved communities.
About Public Library Association
The Public Library Association (PLA) is the largest association dedicated to supporting the unique and evolving needs of public library professionals. Founded in 1944, PLA serves nearly 10,000 members in public libraries large and small in communities across the United States and Canada, with a growing presence around the world. PLA strives to help its members shape the essential institution of public libraries by serving as an indispensable ally for public library leaders. For more information about PLA, contact the PLA office at 1 (800) 545-2433, ext. 5PLA, or email@example.com.
1 Source: U.S. Department of Education
2 Source: Common Sense Media