Virtual Platform Possibilities – Providing Digital Skilling Resources for Patrons

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Library staff face an unprecedented challenge of providing more digital skills programming, and in some cases, for the first time virtually. In PLA’s recent survey of more than 2,500 public libraries, 61% reported that they are adding virtual programming and 41% are expanding online virtual reference help. Two of the greatest needs of those surveyed are expanding e-services to patrons, especially those with limited internet access, and meeting anticipated higher demand for services for those most impacted by the crisis. In this on-demand webinar, digital literacy experts discuss ways to offer or expand virtual digital skill development programs for patrons and staff, and support technology training in a virtual environment. Learn about resources and ideas from PLA, The New York Public Library’s TechConnect program, and Microsoft Teams for programming and productivity.

Originally presented April 30, 2020.


PLA thanks Microsoft for its support of this webinar.

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Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of this on-demand webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Recognize multiple virtual learning methods to help learners of all ages develop and expand digital and technology skills needed to connect, engage, and grow;
  • Spread information and resources among library staff about tools they can use and recommend to patrons virtually seeking technology help;
  • Develop strategies for transitioning face-to-face digital and technology classes to a virtual learning environment; and
  • Understand what influences both logistics and daily operations of virtual learning and how to manage them effectively.

Additional Resources

Who Should Attend

This on-demand webinar is intended for public library staff at all levels, with particular relevance for those who plan programs.This webinar is intended for public library staff with limited prior knowledge of digital literacy and related resources. It will be useful to front line staff as well as managers and administrators. Adult services staff and those currently responsible for digital literacy training will see value in using digital tools and resources to reduce the time needed for one-on-one instruction and to make the library’s technology training more accessible outside library walls.


Brandy McNeilBrandy McNeil is a New York-bred, serial innovator who focuses on community needs through game-changing innovations to build successful digital literacy programs. As an award-winning director of digital literacy education for the New York Public Library (NYPL), Brandy has played a significant role in paving the way for successful series-based programming as well as coding workshops in public libraries. Building the highly successful TechConnect Department at NYPL from the ground up, she has tripled program attendance, making NYPL one of the largest attended digital literacy programs in the U.S. Under her stewardship of the 89 branches across New York City, Brandy has established partnerships with organizations such as Google, MIT, Spotify, and the U.S. Embassy, and has recently been appointed to the PLA Board of Directors. Brandy also serves on the BCALA Executive Board and is currently pursuing her Doctorate.

Mikhail ValentinMikhail Valentin has over 10 years of experience in the fields of new media, educational technology, and learning design. At the New York Public Library, he provides analytical support for the TechConnect program by maintaining and analyzing data on program metrics including survey data and compiling reports, conducts research on new innovative technology and educational program developments, and develops curricula to keep pace with emerging trends and best practices.

Jennifer Morgan-McGregorJennifer Morgan-McGregor is a life-long lover of technology and has worked to make learning come alive for her students and fellow educators from kindergarten to higher education. After earning an M.Ed. in Instructional Technology, she now supports teachers, helping them infuse technology into their classrooms with an emphasis in 21st century skills and personalized learning. Jenn joined insight2execution as senior manager of Professional Learning so she could extend her reach to educators globally, sharing her passion for technology. She is a MIE Master Trainer, MIE Expert, Surface Expert, and Skype Master Teacher. Jenn is also a Certified Microsoft Educator and is MOS Expert Certified. Follow Jenn on Twitter @JennMorgan4Edu.

Scott AllenScott Allen has been a deputy director at PLA since 2015 and was previously PLA’s education director from 1999–2001. At PLA, Scott works on special initiatives such as digital literacy, family engagement, consumer health/health literacy, and equity, diversity and inclusion. Previously, Scott was executive director of the Illinois Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics. He received his BA in English and linguistics from Northwestern University and his MS in nonprofit management from Spertus College.



This on-demand webinar is free and available 24/7 for your viewing convenience.

How to Register

No registration is required.

Tech Requirements

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Credits or CEUs

PLA does not award credit hours, or CEUs, for its on-demand webinars and cannot verify participation.


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