Augusta County Library one of only 215 in U.S. to offer digital literacy program workshops
Culture, Local

Augusta County Library one of only 215 in U.S. to offer digital literacy program workshops

Rebecca Barnabi
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Augusta County Library is among 215 public libraries in the United States awarded funding by the Public Library Association (PLA) in 2023 to conduct digital literacy workshops.

Supported by AT&T, the PLA Digital Literacy Workshop Incentive provides support to libraries of all sizes to conduct workshops using new training materials on up to eight topics designed to help patrons build skills and confidence with technology.

The Augusta County Library will host a variety of digital literacy courses throughout fall 2023. The programs have a goal to help build and strengthen basic digital literacy skills within the community.

“We are thrilled to have been selected as a recipient of the PLA Digital Literacy Workshop Incentive. We know that building and strengthening digital literacy skills is a growing need within the community, and are to be able to offer programs this fall,” Augusta County Library Adult Services Manager Rachael Phillips said.

PLA and AT&T collaborated to develop the digital literacy and Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) courses, which are freely available in English and Spanish through AT&T ScreenReady and PLA’s Augusta County Library will help patrons with the resources in an in-person workshop at Fishersville Library on September 16, 2023. Nine additional workshops will be held throughout the fall across Augusta County.

“As more public services, job applications and benefits are moving to a digital environment, and more Augusta County residents are gaining reliable access to high-speed internet through the county’s broadband initiative, these workshops are crucial for preparing residents for an increasingly digital world,” Augusta County Library Director Dr. Jennifer Brown said.

Maria McCauley, PLA past president, said public libraries continue to play vital roles in providing digital literacy tools and information.

“The expansion of this powerful collaboration with AT&T for the second year will ensure that even more families and communities can benefit from programs and resources that increase digital access and equity,” McCauley said.

The Augusta County Library Main Branch is at 1759 Jefferson Hwy, Fishersville, with six additional branches and stations located in Churchville, Craigsville, Deerfield, Middlebrook, Stuarts Draft and Weyers Cave.

Founded in 1944, PLA is the largest association dedicated to support of public library professionals, and serves nearly 9,000 members across the U.S. and Canada.

AT&T has made a $2 billion commitment between 2021 and 2023 to address the digital divide. The company launched AT&T Connected Learning to invest in connectivity and technology, digital literacy and education solutions.


Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.