It’s difficult these days to live our lives without being dependent on the computer. To work, to find a job, for school, for health information, to manage our finances, to communicate, or just to have fun, we turn to our digital devices. Not having the computer skills to do these things is to miss out on modern society.
“We provide services to help increase digital literacy in Evanston,” says Heather Norborg, EPL’s Acting Head of Adult Services. “We offer tech training to help expand patrons’ comfort and confidence in dealing with digital devices.”
The Evanston Public Library offers technology training classes, funded in part by the Evanston Community Foundation, and one-on-one appointments in both English and Spanish to help patrons navigate the digital world. In addition to classes taught by volunteers, such as the popular Thursday Tech Tutorials, two part-time technology trainers have recently joined the library staff to help patrons build their computer skills: Craig Stevenson and Sergio Gonzalez.
Technology trainer Craig Stevenson, who started in spring 2018, brings technology experience in four areas: communication, spatial and visual design, and organizational and cultural change, and education.
“The patrons that I serve are almost as diverse as the city of Evanston itself, except that we deal mainly with adults,” says Stevenson. “Our major focus is to promote and develop independent and self-confident digitally literate citizens, and provide equitable access to technological resources.” His one-on-one training has served individuals who are picking up the computer for the first time to the adult learner who is building skills for a resume or the chance for a promotion. He has also taught community classes in the 5th ward at Bethel Church, Blake Manor, and Primm Tower.
Sergio Gonzalez started in October as a bilingual technology trainer at the Library. He is a computer system analyst and also a Microsoft Office specialist. For the past ten years he has been teaching technology classes such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, basic computer skills, resumes, and online applications and social media. He already has seen a big need for technology classes in the community in Spanish. He teaches computer classes in Spanish on Saturdays and Sundays. He also provides one-on-one technology training appointments in Spanish and English here at the library. He will also be working with the Community Engagement team to expand the Library’s technology training program to more locations in the community.
To find out information, dates, and times for adult computer classes offered by the library, go to the EPL website (epl.org). Under the line of tabs across the top of the homepage, select “Attend.” On the Attend menus, select “Technology Classes.” Scroll down to find the classes that interest you. The computer classes welcome walk-ins. For one-on-one appointments, registration is required. Visit or call the Reference Desk at (847) 448-8630 to set up an appointment with Craig or Sergio.
The Evanston Public Library is able to offer these services, in part, due to a grant from the Evanston Community Foundation.