From a November 3, 2021, Sno-Isle Libraries press release.
Sno-Isle Libraries now offers customers a free program to help them improve their digital skills.
Northstar Digital Literacy has a simple online tool designed to help people assess their skills with the internet, email, and popular software programs.
It’s designed to help people with limited computer skills or internet access gain confidence and learn how to access the many services that are available online.
Customers can take the assessments with the help of family or friends, or use public computers at any Sno-Isle Libraries community library.
Northstar offers personal assessments of digital skills, online learning lessons, and personal Northstar Learner Accounts that allow customers to track their progress.
When Northstar learners complete an assessment, they are automatically directed to the free Northstar Online Learning lessons that target specific skill areas.
“Access to this kind of training is really important because it lets people participate in society,” Sno-Isle Libraries Adult Services Coordinator Emily Felt said.
She went on to say, “During the pandemic, Sno-Isle Libraries expanded community access to the internet with laptop computers and Wi-Fi hotspots, and we can now use Northstar as another helpful tool.”
After Northstar test takers pass assessments, they should feel comfortable using their new skills to search for information online, search for a job, and use email.
They can then pursue more advanced training, certifications, or career pathways elsewhere.
“We’re looking forward to offering Northstar to our customers to help increase digital inclusion in Snohomish and Island counties,” Felt said.
Northstar Digital Literacy is being provided regionally by the Washington State Library.