Course on popular YouTube added to PLA’s website

For Immediate Release
Tue, 02/04/2020


Scott Allen

Deputy Director

Public Library Association

American Library Association

CHICAGO — The Public Library Association (PLA) has released a new online tutorial to help patrons learn the basics of using the popular online video site, YouTube. The course, Intro to Searching Videos on YouTube, covers the basics of searching for videos for entertainment, instruction, “do it yourself,” and more. This 21-minute online tutorial explores how one navigates the YouTube homepage, how to perform searches, and how to create an account. It also offers practice activities for learners to use their new knowledge.

The 25 learning modules on are video based with narration and interactivity. They are written in plain language in both English and Spanish and include captioning. 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.

The topics for new courses are selected based on feedback from learners, PLA’s Digital Literacy Committee, and from libraries working with PLA on custom sites. New courses continue PLA’s work to make an indispensable resource for public library digital literacy training.

“The public library is a trusted access point to find, understand, and act on information of all kinds, including the wealth of content offered on YouTube. But we can’t expect people who aren’t familiar with technology to be able to jump in and go, especially when we want them to explore online safely and effectively," explains Leighann Wood, PLA program manager. "That’s why we create courses for, to help foster engagement with technology and to teach people the digital skills they need to be successful in today’s world.”

In addition to the growing set of courses, offers resources and tools for library staff to help with classroom instruction, developed by the Gail Borden Public Library District in Elgin, Ill. These resources include customizable planning documents, handouts, slides and activity sheets to help librarians and others develop and present high-quality classroom training. 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.

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About the Public Library Association
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 10,000 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, contact the PLA office at 1 (800) 545-2433, ext. 5PLA, or