Taking the Digital World by Storm – You Got This!

With technology constantly advancing, digital literacy is a vital skill to have. Maybe you need to learn computer basics, transition to a virtually based job, or simply keep up with your family Zoom meetings; whatever the reason, don’t let that computer keep you from what you want. Don’t worry, though, the library has you covered!

Being able to take advantage of computer technology can begin right here at your community library. All you have to do is talk to your librarian, and they can introduce you to our newest online resource, Northstar Digital Literacy Assessments. Northstar focuses on what are known as basic digital literacy skills – from using a mouse to searching on the internet and using email to more advanced skills like using websites to learn new skills, searching for jobs online, or keeping up with friends and family on social media.

I had the chance to chat about Northstar with Tamar Kreke, GCPL’s Adult and Technical Services Coordinator, about why this is such an amazing resource for you.


Why is digital literacy so important in today’s day & age?

Well first off, let’s define digital literacy. Digital literacy refers to having the skills you need to live, learn, and work in a society where communication and access to information is increasingly through digital technologies like internet platforms, social media, and mobile devices. In other words, it means that you know what to do and how to navigate on a computer and other digital devices.

In today’s modern world there simply is no going back; everything is increasingly dependent on technology. Digital literacy is vital, but you don’t need to worry because your local librarians are here to help! Patrons now need to be able to navigate in the digital world, and you don’t need to feel intimidated by the online world because your librarians have resources like Northstar to help you.


Knowing our patrons, what do you think the need for a resource like Northstar Digital Assessments is in Greene County – what makes you excited now that it’s available?

There are many different reasons why patrons might need to or want to improve their digital literacy. They may need to fill out online job applications, learn new skills for work, they may be going back to school, enjoy lifelong learning, want to keep up with their family and friends on social media, or start a small business.

Our librarians love providing one-on-one assistance to our patrons, and we are so excited to be able to offer patrons this robust tool that they can use at their discretion to assess and build their skills. Northstar is a great resource to support staff in helping and in patrons helping themselves. You may feel apprehensive about your computer skills, but come into your local library, ask your librarian for help, and we can go from there. No one should feel intimidated by computers or learning digital skills – these skills are now accessible to you and the GCPL staff are more than happy to guide you with online resources like Northstar to get you where you want to be!


What are some of the benefits Northstar offers our patrons? How can they apply what they learn on Northstar to their everyday lives?

The first benefit that comes to mind is confidence! You may feel as though, you don’t know what you’re doing when it comes to computers, but you don’t give yourself enough credit – you got this! Northstar is ideal for people who have a relatively low level of digital literacy skills; you don’t have to know anything about computers or the internet to start. Northstar has three main areas of learning: essential computer skills, essential software skills, and using technology in daily life. It is all wonderfully organized and is truly practical, helpful information and training to anyone wishing to learn.


Tamar went on to say that several of our community libraries also offer Tech Tips for Seniors’ programs as well. These in-person programs would complement Northstar well for those looking to really bolster their computer skills.

Access your Northstar learner account today with your library card today.