Digital Literacy

As our broadband expansion initiative brought fiber to homes and businesses across the county (the Greater Franklin Broadband Plan became the model for similar plans in 15 Maine counties), we set our sights on digital skills development. Fast internet is only useful if people know how to navigate the many tools now at their fingertips.

Together with our adult education partners, Franklin County Adult Education and Spruce Mountain Adult Education, we launched the Greater Franklin Digital Literacy Initiative, securing the funding to offer digital skills classes and one-on-one tech help at our community libraries, at no cost to participants.

In the first year and a half of our digital literacy program we have taught more than 800 classes in 10 libraries and community organizations across the county to nearly 247 students with an average age of 64.7 years. Help topics include everything from job hunting online to registering for classes to selling items on Facebook Marketplace to using MyChart.

Demand has been such that we have doubled our teaching positions for year two, and we have hired a project manager to connect us with more community partners like the Healthy Community Coalition (HCC) and Western Maine Community Action (WMCA). Trisha Mosher, our project manager, has expanded the venues and audiences for our digital literacy instructors to include the American Legion, Senior Planning Center, and Recovery Center. Please contact Trisha if your organization would like to be a part of this program.

We have raised grant funding for two years of digital literacy instruction, enough to set the foundation and gather the data for our adult education partners to provide to our school districts, compelling them to budget for this specific programming going forward.  RSU9 is already doing this for FY 2025!

Maine Poet Laureate Librarian Julia Bouwsma

"Greater Franklin's Digital Literacy Program has quickly become an indispensable resource for our small rural library. The instructors have extensive IT knowledge and teaching experience, and are terrific at locating additional resources when needed. They truly excel at working one on one with our patrons in a patient and supportive manner to help them solve problems and build skills. This vital program extends far beyond the teaching of digital skills and literacy—this is a program that strengthens and reaffirms human connection in the modern age."