Rapides Parish Library participates in new digital literacy pilot program

FILE - A sign for the Rapides Parish Library.
FILE - A sign for the Rapides Parish Library.(Source: KALB)
Published: Jul. 27, 2022 at 10:18 AM CDT
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RAPIDES PARISH, La. - The Rapides Parish Library announced that it is participating in a new digital literacy pilot program established by the partnership among ConnectLA, the Louisiana Board of Regents, the Louisiana Department of Education and the State Library of Louisiana with a goal to increase digital literacy in Rapides Parish by 50 percent over a five-year time span.

Rapides Parish Library Director Celise Reech-Harper stated, “A community’s Internet and digital device access directly correlate to having a well-prepared future workforce and a community of informed lifelong learners. Your Rapides Parish Library currently offers an array of options to advance digital skills, but as we phase in this pilot program, we hope to amplify our offerings. The need for affordable, reliable Internet access is unquestionable; having a community prepared to best use that access is critical for our parish’s future, and your Rapides Parish Library is here to help with that connection.”

Five library pilot sites were selected throughout the state and have been granted $20,000 to not only support digital literacy initiatives but also assist in facilitating broadband internet access in their respective communities. For the Rapides Parish Library, that means additional hotspots for patrons to check out and support of additional classes as well as future technology upgrades. After appointing fifty-five professional library staff members to be Digital Navigators for their community, the State Library of Louisiana Digital Inclusion Manager Rebecca Kelley met with library directors and digital navigators in May and June to ensure the program’s success. The new Digital Navigators, including seven from Rapides Parish, have received training from the National Digital Inclusion Alliance and Northstar Digital Literacy. The Rapides Parish Library has submitted its project plan which includes the development of additional classes and will result in community access to the Northstar Digital Literacy Platform.

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