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Do You Know What Your Library's Up to These Days?

March 1, 2017

We're bridging the digital divide in our branches, online, and out in the community.


What does Digital Literacy Mean, and Why is it Important?

According to ALAConnect, digital literacy is the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills. 

In today's world, a lack of basic digital literacy ability is a barrier to student achievement, employment, and higher education. 

An estimated 44% of Metro Nashville Public Schools students lack access to computers or connectivity at home. 
"Overall, three out of four (job) postings list some kind of computer skills requirements for jobs..."
"...collectively large numbers of job postings cite Microsoft Office products as requirements for work." 

Sources: 2012 Technology in Education Survey System study, and 2015 workforce study Strengthening the Middle Tennessee Region 2020.

How are We Helping to Bridge the Digital Divide?

Our branch libraries are digital literacy education destinations, offering classes and one-on-one training. Now, we've expanded to bring digital literacy education directly where people are in their communities.

Digital Initiatives Manager Marian Christmon assisting at a ConnectHome training session.

Our Digital Inclusion Initiative: Outreach

In neighborhoods, we partnered with ConnectHome to launch training sessions for families without internet access at home, beginning with Cayce Place Family Housing on Seventh Street in Nashville. Residents take classes to improve digital literacy, then receive free refurbished laptops and free Internet access for a year.

We partnered with Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) on Anytime Access for All , ensuring low cost computing devices, training, support, and low cost internet service to MNPS families. We developed the training for the pilot program at Hunters Lane High School in Madison.

Many young adults (18-24-year-olds) face the vulnerability of no longer receiving technology access through school. We target them with "guided lab" approach programs—a good fit for their hands-on learning style and existing digital know-how—specifically to improve workforce development digital literacy skills.

We help seniors familiarize themselves with technology through outreach partnerships with FiftyForward and the National Council on Aging (NCOA). 

For more information about our Digital Inclusion Initiatives, please contact Marian Christmon .

Anytime, Anywhere Resources for Everyone

Introducing our newest online digital literacy learning tool: NPL DigitalLearn. NPL DigitalLearn is an entry point into using technology—a place for true beginners to start their technology education journey. It contains brief, easy-to-use lessons that show how being online can make your life easier and better.

We also offer our patrons free access to two more excellent online technology training resources.

Atomic Training provides video tutorials for basic, task-based training in popular computer software. provides thousands of video tutorials by industry experts, for learnng software, creative, and business skills.

No matter what your level of computer knowledge, NPL has the right resources to help you.