Education Matters: Digital Literacy Classes

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - The library isn't just about books these days. 

Over the years, it's added in audio books, even DVDs, and now, throw in digital literacy where you hop on the computer, learn how to navigate the computer and learn about its many software programs.

The Central Arkansas Library System's (CALS) Digital Specialist Nathan Smith says CALS saw there was a need to offer digital literacy help.

"We do everything from the very basics, you know here's the keyboard, here's the mouse, up through things like Microsoft Office, Word, Excel," he explains.

Nathan also guides library patrons through social media. 

Albessie Thompson, 80, started with Facebook.

"I pestered all my family to teach me," she says.

The only problem, it wasn't done at her own pace. Albessie found out about the free services at CALS and signed up fast.

"Now I think I know how to do it by myself if I had to. But as long as we have open lab, I'm here," Thompson adds.

With Facebook checked off the list, she has since moved on to bigger things. Albessie is making videos! Her family doesn't know about it but she will surprise them on Christmas.

"I only made it 10 minutes so they won't get too bored," she says.

Curtis Adams is in a similar boat. His family didn't have time to teach him how to use a computer.

"When I first came, I didn't know how to turn the computer on," he says.

A year later, Curtis is navigating his way through different Microsoft programs. His family has no idea!

"They don't know?," we ask him. "No... ha ha," he responds. "What do you think they would say?," we ask. "I think they'd be surprised," he says.

You might be surprised to find that Nathan also helps people with their Apple or Android devices!

"We really enjoy doing this kind of thing for folks and seeing a difference it makes in the community," he says.

It's a big difference for Albessie.

"I'm learning how to do PowerPoint, it's fun!," she says.

Click here to search for a list of digital literacy classes on the CALS website.

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