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Region of Waterloo Library increase digital literacy through tech coaching sessions

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The Region of Waterloo Library is offering technology coaching sessions at various branches in the community for those who are looking to learn and understand more about the electronics in their home.

With just one click, the library is giving one-on-one sessions led by computer coach Paula Fewkes, who offers assistance to adults looking for help with computers, tablets or e-readers.

All services are offered to library members at no cost, with the option to customize the 30-minute training sessions.

With many of its resources, from movies to magazines, moving to online platforms, the library sees the need to provide assistance to those people still unsure of how to gain access.

The program started in 2014 in response to requests made by community members who are looking for support in accessing technologies, says Kim Krueger-Kischak, the programs and outreach supervisor at the Region of Waterloo Library.

People sometimes get handed down a phone or a computer but what they struggle with is, “I have this piece of technology to keep in contact with my family, but how do I do that?,” Krueger-Kischak said.

“This is a great way of enabling people to keep in contact with their families and their peers as well because online communication is such an important way of communicating. That sense of connection is really important because in the Waterloo Region we want people to feel like they belong.”

Technology initiatives like this are important to surrounding communities because it helps to raise residents’ digital literacy and close the gap in accessing online information, she noted. Not everyone might have the support they need at home which makes going to the library an easy place to learn.

“Over the years we’ve learned that it’s the one-on-one support that is most effective because you can offer an intro to computers but in that, there are so many varying levels.”

The program allows for people to ask specific questions pertaining to their skill level and understanding rather than being in a group setting, added Krueger-Kischak.

Whether you need help with your iPad or setting up a laptop, the technology sessions are conveniently offered at all 10 branches in the region and will be expanding to its three pop-up locations. Additionally, Fewkes offers private appointments or workshops for those who don’t have the time to make it to the library or for those with busy work schedules.

Sessions are offered all year-long and those looking to sign up can join online through the Region of Waterloo Library, www.rwlibrary.ca.

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