Need to learn your way around a computer - or just need to get online? Help is available

If you need access to a computer or the internet, or want to learn how to use them, the public library is probably the best place to start.

Dayton Metro Library is offering free hands-on computer classes at all its locations in November and December. Computers will be available for use, but some classes will require people to bring their own devices. Library cards are not required, said Allison Knight, youth services and programming director for the library.

All programs are free but may require advance registration. Specific classes are geared for children, teens and adults, and individual help can be scheduled by calling the library’s Ask Me Line at 937-463-2665.

Participants can get one-on-one help or can join group classes on the basics of email, internet, word processing, Google and other subjects, Knight said. People can retake the hour-long classes as often as they need.

There are more advanced classes such as on 3D printing, video making and databases. Students can also take classes to prepare for standardized tests or build workplace skills.

For those outside the Dayton library’s reach, there are still library options. In 2021 the State Library of Ohio gave the Ohio Public Library Information Network federal funds to offer Northstar Digital Literacy Assessments and related curricula through all of the state’s 251 public library systems, said Don Yarman, OPLIN director. So far 73 systems serving about 7.2 million people — including the Dayton Metro Library and Greene County Public Library — are actively using Northstar, according to OPLIN.

All Ohioans can use most of Northstar’s content, including digital literacy assessments and instruction, for free whether their local library offers it or not.


Where can I find classes in digital literacy and other computer skills?

Try your local library, senior or community center. If you have computer access at home, go to DaytonMetroLibrary.org and click on “Programs” to see available locations, topics and times, or call the Ask Me Line at 937-463-2665. All programs are free but may require registration. Specific classes are geared for children, teens and adults.

For the Northstar digital literacy program, ask your local library or go to https://ohioweblibrary.org/db/northstar.

Instruction is also available through AARP at www.SeniorPlanet.org.

What if I need home internet access or a computer?

To apply to the Affordable Connectivity Program, go to getinternet.gov or AffordableConnectivity.gov.

To find internet providers in your area, go to broadbandnow.com/Ohio or broadbandmap.fcc.gov.

More information is available through AARP at aarp.org/ACP, by texting INTERNET to 22777, or by calling 833-511-0311.

Visit your local library if you need a computer or help to access the websites above.

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