image credit: Janko Ferlic

Public libraries are one of the few remaining community centers where people freely pass on valuable skills to neighbors young and old. In addition to offering free access to books, computers, and the internet, libraries often host educational classes as a public service, with an emphasis on teaching fundamental skills for navigating the digital world.

Many people who are on fixed incomes or living paycheck to paycheck cannot afford to have internet service at home. For them, the library is a gateway to online communication, job hunting, and learning new skills.

Over the past five years, using WordPress has become one of those important skills, as the software is now used by 33% of the top 10 million websites, across nearly every major industry.

Packed into a full schedule of toddler story time, book chats, and knitting groups, the public library in Loveland, Colorado, is hosting a free workshop called Getting Started with a WordPress Website on May 22, 2019, from 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM MDT. Participants will learn the history and terminology of WordPress, along with the step-by-step basics of creating a website. Topics include posts vs pages, using media, installing a theme, and using plugins.

Participants who cannot attend in person at the library can register online for a free ticket on Facebook or through Eventbrite. Those participating remotely will need to install the Adobe Connect meeting browser plugin and will be able to listen to the lecture through the digital classroom and ask questions via chat.

Another class will be hosted July 2, 2019, for those who are unable to attend the May workshop.

Loveland Public Library is one of many libraries that host free WordPress classes. Skokie Public Library in Skokie, Illinois, will be hosting a Build a Website with WordPress.com workshop on Friday, May 24, and the Denver Public Library offers similar courses for WordPress.com in various locations. The New York Public Library plans to offer a Blogging for Beginners course at its Woodland Heights location on October 3, 2019. These are just a small sampling of the educational opportunities offered in this format. If you know someone who wants to get started with WordPress, local libraries are a good resource for finding a free, in-person class.

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