Library to offer free technology classes

PIQUA – The State Library of Ohio has chosen the Piqua Public Library as a site for the Guiding Ohio Online AmeriCorps program. This service program is designed to support rural public libraries in their efforts to teach patrons to use computers, tablets, web sites, eBooks, and other digital resources and services.

Funded by a grant from ServeOhio, Ohio’s commission on service and volunteerism, Guiding Ohio Online was developed by the State Library of Ohio. Guiding Ohio Online requires a one-time matching fund from the host libraries for the purpose of training and sustaining the AmeriCorps Member.

“The Piqua Public Library has identified a real need for this kind of training in our community,” said Library Director Jim Oda. “Having no computer experience can be a real handicap in today’s technological world. We are talking about the basics – knowing how to use a mouse, getting online, filling out forms, and creating resumes. These are skills that many adults lack; the skills you need when applying for jobs, looking up online records, and sending emails.”

Rebecca Baker has been hired to serve as the digital literacy instructor for an 11-month AmeriCorps member term. As an AmeriCorps member, Baker will deliver digital literacy training through computer classes, one-on-one computer assistance, outreach, and volunteer recruitment for the library.

“As an AmeriCorps member, I am really excited to serve my community. Digital skills can open up a whole new world for people. Patrons would be able to access government programs, connect with family, and apply for jobs – for many people, it’s a real game-changer. We’ll spend some time on fun projects too: we’re hoping to offer classes on downloading eBooks, using social media (like Facebook), and learning how to use smartphones.”

Class sizes are intentionally kept small and one-on-one assistance is also available. Anyone interested in receiving computer assistance should contact (937) 773-6753, ext. 235.