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Ouachita Parish Public Library joins partners in digital literacy initiative

The Ouachita Parish Public Library is partnering with the Ouachita Parish Citizen Broadband Advisory Committee to support the on-going effort to provide digital literacy training and broadband access in the parish. The Citizen Broadband Advisory Committee is committed to bringing reliable, fast internet to all households in Ouachita Parish but recognizes physical access to broadband does not close the digital divide in the parish. The Ouachita Parish Public Library can assist in this effort by providing more digital training classes expanding our current offerings throughout the parish.

The Library currently offers computer classes at Main Branch and Anna Meyer Family Learning Center. Two other partnerships will allow the Library to soon expand the number of classes and the number of locations where the classes are offered. The Library is excited about these partnerships and expanding their current offerings.

AT&T and the Public Library Association created a digital literacy learning platform called DigitalLearn.org. AT&T is working with Ouachita Parish Public Library to offer train-the-trainer workshops to teach local librarians and other community organizers how to effectively teach digital literacy skills. They will provide facilitator guides, scripts, presentations, and learner handouts. The training materials focus not only on teaching basic digital literacy skills, but also on building learners’ confidence in using technology.

In addition, the Ouachita Parish Public Library has received a donation of computers from a local business, Scott Equipment Company. “The donation of the computers means that we have more workstations available for hands-on learning,” says Holly Priestley, Head of IT at the Ouachita Parish Public Library. “This will more than double our available seats in our digital literacy classes.”

The Ouachita Parish Police Jury supports the partnerships and the upcoming digital literacy endeavors.

“Digital literacy is the foundation of good education, good health, and good jobs. These partnerships will bridge the gap for those who need to improve their technological skills which will improve our citizens’ lives,” said Larry Bratton, Ouachita Parish Police Juror.

About the Ouachita Parish Public Library

The mission of the Library is to advance literacy, inspire lifelong learning, and strengthen our community by serving everyone in Ouachita Parish. The Library serves a diverse community of approximately 160,000 people. The Library has 10 branches throughout the parish, plus a bookmobile, outreach services and e-services online at www.oplib.org.