The Library and People Aged 55+: Basic Computer and Internet Literacy Training
Asen Yosifov 1926 Public Chitalishte in the village of Gabrovnitsa, Montana DistrictNew Modern Library Services Training of Elderly People
Computers and the internet are powerful resources creating opportunities for improving people’s social and economicwell-being. The public library is called upon to provide free access to computers and the internet and free training in using them.
By preserving the best traditions and promoting spiritual values through books and reading, public libraries have been attracting citizens’ attention to yet another type of services – education services – since theirinvolvement in the Glob@l Libraries – Bulgaria Program.
To respond to all Program requirements, we reconstructed part of the library and transformed it into a modern computer room.
Following my basic computer literacy training conducted in Geo Milev DistrictLibrary by Daniela Marinova, I decided to be helpful for the people in Gabrovnitsa through my knowledge and the opportunities offered by the computer room. I decided to conduct training of elderly people to respond to theirdemands. I posted an announcement with a subscription deadline in the chitalishte.
In just a few days, a sufficient number of applicants showed up and we set uptwo groups of four people (corresponding to the number of workstations in the room).Group 1 Group 2
In compliance with the lifelong learning policy and the Glob@l Libraries – Bulgaria Program objectives, in mid-November 2011, the library launched two-week training for people aged 50+ in two modules:- Work with computers. The Word text-processing program- Internet for dummies
The first module presented to participants the structure of thecomputer and basic knowledge on file and folder creation, work with documents.
The second module presented the opportunities offered by the Google search engine for information search, information portals like www.dir.bg, the legal portal www.lex.bg, websites on knitting, needlework, cooking recipes, Bulgarianonline information resources from all areas of human activity.
A grandpa took part in Group 2 and did a great job
Trainees were motivated to learn bypersonal reasons like: self-improvement,acknowledgement, quality of life or otherpeople’s respect. They focused on thepractical implementation of their knowledgein life and expected tangible results fromthis process.
On the last day of the training, I gavepractical assignments for informationsearch to all participants; they workedindependently and I summarized andevaluated the results of the training.
GRADUATION After the two weeks of training, it was timefor all participants to graduate it successfully. Allgraduates received participation certificates and adesktop calendar with the logo of the Glob@lLibraries – Bulgaria Program and photos ofchitalishte activities.
THE SURPRISE The second graders from Sts. Cyril and Methodius Primary School in Gabrovnitsa came to congratulatetraining graduates. They presented Christmas customs, sang songs, danced and wished everyone health and prosperity in the new year.
These were my first trainees who have made me proud. I am happy that thanks to the Glob@l Libraries Program, I was useful for two weeksand I managed to distract them from their busy and grey daily routine.
The courses conducted in our library todate reinforce my opinion that there isactive interest in new informationtechnology and that the library is the placewhere basic computer literacy training ofelderly people should take place.
All training participants came up with a suggestion to continue the training withhigher levels of computer competence. The training gives the elderly self- confidence, bridges the digital divide between them and young people and helps them feel connected to the global world of information.
Thank you for your attention! Prepared by: Tania Todorova Asen Yosifov 1926 Public Chitalishte, Gabrovnitsa