Technology Tutoring with a Digital Navigator in Larimer County

In a world that has become increasingly digital, how do we ensure that it’s accessible to everyone? Most jobs now require some type of digital skills. According to a report from the National Skills Coalition, “92% of jobs analyzed require digital skills. Previous NSC research found one-third of workers don’t have the foundational digital skills necessary to enter and thrive in today’s jobs.” (National Skills Coalition.) Where do you go to learn basic digital skills?

The Digital Navigators of Larimer County, a program piloted by the Loveland Public Library, are here to assist with digital skill coaching at sites across Larimer County. Digital Navigators provide opportunities for long-term, routine appointments to build digital skills and computer use confidence, as well as help acquire a device and/or research affordable internet connectivity options at home. From smartphone navigation to internet searching, they give training in accessing online resources, communication platforms, and more. Their expertise extends to obtaining devices and internet connectivity and ensuring individuals can confidently navigate today’s digital world. Typical topics for skill-building appointments include learning how to use a smartphone, accessing websites and online accounts, using online communications like email and social media, discovering where and how to learn specific software, and saving, editing, and managing files, among many more.

The program is a part of a larger grant-funded initiative powered by the state’s Digital Access Plan with the goal of increasing digital access and inclusion for Coloradoans. Funded by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, the Office of the Future of Work, Serve Colorado, and additional sponsorships. The program utilizes AmeriCorps service members to act as Digital Navigators. Loveland Public Library was one of two recipients of the pilot grant and received the award to place Digital Navigators in library locations throughout Larimer County, including Loveland, Berthoud, Estes Park, Wellington, Front Range Community College’s Larimer Campus in Fort Collins, and Red Feather Lakes. 

Public libraries have witnessed the deepening of the digital divide and the need for technology assistance in the community. “There are very few places except for a library that individuals can go to receive both access to technology and assistance using it,” states Loveland Public Library Technology Manager Erik Rock. “We have experienced a drastic increase in demand for computer help and learning how to use technology in the past few years here in Loveland, and we recognize the increase in need across all libraries in Larimer County.” 

Additional positions are needed to expand the program and provide services to these libraries. Recruitment for year one is actively ongoing for Red Feather Lakes and Wellington through the end of June. Services will be available at Red Feather Lakes Community Library and Wellington Public Library once those positions have been filled. As AmeriCorps service members, individuals receive a variety of financial and educational benefits. Member service years typically constitute a 48-week commitment of between 675 to 1700 hours of service, with increased benefits at each level of service. Of all the benefits, the experience of serving in AmeriCorps is highly rewarding. “Being a Digital Navigator has enabled me to give back to my community,” states current member Chris Smith. “I genuinely enjoy helping people solve problems, and the populations we serve seem genuinely grateful for our time. Serving has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life.” 

In addition to filling the final positions for year one, recruitment for year two of the program will begin in early fall for all involved library locations in Loveland, Estes Park, Berthoud, Fort Collins, Wellington, and the Red Feather Lakes area. If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a Digital Navigator, visit, call the Program Coordinator at 970-962-3154, or email [email protected].

Community members of all ages and ability levels are invited to get started on their digital skill building journey through routine learning appointments or shorter, informal drop-in guidance sessions. To get connected with a Digital Navigator, call 970-962-3154 or stop by one of the participating library locations today!

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