The Indianapolis Public Library invites the public to celebrate Digital Inclusion Week by exploring programs and services that promote digital equity. Digital Inclusion Week, an annual week of awareness around digital inclusion, its urgency, and its benefits, is taking place October 2 - 6, 2023.
“Having access to modern technology such as mobile phones, Wi-Fi, and computers allows individuals to turn in school assignments, apply for jobs, or simply stay connected with loved ones,” said Michelle Sharp, area resource manager of adult services at The Indianapolis Public Library. “In addition to access, individuals need training to effectively use tech devices. Digital equity is all about increasing access to technology and educating the public on tech skills. At The Library, we are happy to do our part in bridging the digital divide.”
Learn how The Library helps the public access digital tools and training below:
Learn Computer Skills With Northstar Digital Literacy
Northstar Digital Literacy, a program that teaches basic computer skills such as how to navigate the internet, send emails, create documents with Microsoft Word or Google Docs, use Microsoft Excel, and more, has expanded to 22 Branch locations. The program was developed in response to the needs of job seekers who lack the digital literacy skills needed to seek, obtain, and retain employment. Our tech learning specialists help individuals develop a custom learning plan to expand their digital skill set. Northstar Digital Literacy is available in Spanish and English. If participants pass an assessment with a score of 85% or above, they can earn a free certificate at the Innovation Learning Lab at Central Library to highlight the skills they have learned. This program is made possible by Comcast Heartland Region and Friends of the Library through gifts to The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation.
Sign Up for Affordable Home Internet
The Indianapolis Public Library is dedicated to helping patrons find and apply for social services that can improve digital access. The Affordable Connectivity Program is a Federal Communications Commission program that helps connect families and households struggling to afford internet service. This program provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward broadband service for eligible households and a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers. Knowledgeable staff are available at our Branch locations to help patrons sign up for this program.
Build Your Resume With Free LinkedIn Learning
IndyPL Library Cards offer free access to LinkedIn Learning. Previously known as Lynda.com, LinkedIn Learning offers courses taught by industry experts on a variety of topics, including basic skills such as Microsoft Office and advanced skills including multimedia design, coding, and web development. LinkedIn Learning is available in 7 languages and is $19.99 each month without a Library Card. Visit indypl.org/linkedin to learn more.
Computers, Internet, and Printing Services at all Library Locations
Library guests can use public computers with free Internet access at all of our locations, with or without a Library card. Public Library guests can get free Wi-Fi on their personal devices by utilizing Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) points to connect to the Internet using their own equipment. Wireless mobile printing is available, allowing patrons to send files to Library printers before arriving to pick them up.
Senior Tech Academy
Older adults seeking to become confident using the internet to effectively accomplish their goals are currently taking part in a 4-week Academy at our Southport branch. Participants will explore topics including managing your privacy and spotting online scams/phishing while building skills necessary to use the internet and manage emails.
Check Out and Take Home a Chromebook or Hotspot
The Library has Google Chromebooks and Mobile Hotspots available to check out with an IndyPL Library card on a first-come, first-serve basis. Chromebooks and hotspot devices may be borrowed for up to 21 days and cannot be held, renewed, or requested. Chromebook and Hotspots are currently available at our College Avenue, Eagle, East 38th Street, East Washington, Garfield Park, Haughville, InfoZone, Irvington, Martindale-Brightwood, Spades Park, Warren, and West Indianapolis locations. Beech Grove, Lawrence, Southport, and Wayne have Hotspots only. This service is made possible by Honda and AARP Indiana through grants to The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation.
Classes and Workshops for All Ages and Skill Levels
The Library offers a variety of computer, technology, and mobile skill classes. During Digital Inclusion Week, our classes include Adobe Photoshop Basics, Creating Digital Designs with Canva.com, Creating a Writer's Website, Multilingual Computer Classes - Instruction Spoken in Kinyarwanda, Swahili, French and English. See our class schedule.