Courses in budgeting, using mobile devices added to PLA’s website

For Immediate Release
Thu, 11/09/2017


Laurence Deutsch

Manager, Communications

Public Library Association (PLA)

CHICAGO —, the Public Library Association’s (PLA) website designed to help community members increase their digital literacy skills, has added two new beginner-level courses to its collection of tutorials, which now totals 21. The learning modules on are video-based with narration at a fourth-grade reading level. Each course takes between six and 22 minutes to complete. The lessons were designed to be taken independently, anywhere and anytime, by learners, but are also used by libraries and other community groups for one-on-one instruction and classroom teaching.

One new course was designed for first-time users of mobile devices running the Android operating system. The five-part learning module includes a basic overview of mobile devices and instruction on connecting devices to a network, using and adding apps, and maintaining data privacy and security. The second new course, Creating a Basic Budget with Microsoft Excel, guides learners through core budgeting concepts in the Excel software program such as creating a budget template, formatting data cells, and using formulas and functions.

The topics for these new courses were selected based on feedback from learners and from libraries working with PLA on custom sites. PLA’s digital literacy partnership with Cox Communications provided support for the new courses. Through the partnership, Cox Communications also generously supported custom, branded DigitalLearn sites for East Baton Rouge Parish (La.) Library, Pima County (Ariz.) Public Library, and Topeka & Shawnee County (Kan.) Public Library.

These new courses continue PLA’s work to make an indispensable resource for public library digital literacy training. Earlier this month, the 81 sets of lesson plans, handouts and slide templates that comprised Gail’s Toolkit were incorporated into Gail’s Toolkit was a project developed by the Gail Borden Public Library District in Elgin, Ill. to help librarians develop and present high quality classroom training. As a result, the site now offers a robust suite of resources and tools for library staff and other educators to use when conducting training in the community. is just one tool PLA offers to help its members make their libraries digital literacy learning centers. The Association also offers continuing education on digital literacy training and a variety of professional tools for public librarians. For more information, please click here.

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About the Public Library Association
PLA is the largest association dedicated to supporting the unique and evolving needs of public library professionals. Founded in 1944, PLA serves nearly 9,000 members in public libraries large and small in communities across the United States and Canada, with a growing presence around the world. PLA strives to help its members shape the essential institution of public libraries by serving as an indispensable ally for public library leaders. For more information about PLA, visit