Build your digital life skills with IndyPL this Digital Inclusion Week. The digital divide is the gap between those who have affordable access, skills, and support to effectively engage online, and those who do not. This divide impacts households in Indianapolis. The Library helps bridge the gap with free public computers and wifi, free computer skill training, and helpful staff to support those still developing their digital life skills.

Every year Digital Inclusion Week is a time for raising awareness, advocating for digital equity, and promoting the many resources available to help people take advantage of digital technology. Digital Inclusion Week for 2023 is October 2 – 6. We hope you’ll join us this year as we celebrate by building our digital life skills.

Read on for suggested activities you can complete to develop your own digital skills or help you take action to support digital equity in Indianapolis. Learn more about all the services The Library offers to help get you connected to the Internet. Use our computers and other technologies, both in our locations and at home. Our services are available every week, all year long.

1. Develop Your Digital Skills at The Library

You can take computer and technology classes to build your digital life skills at The Library throughout the year. Build your digital skills with a learning plan custom designed for you.

Take an assessment in English or Spanish on The Library’s Northstar Digital Literacy platform and get feedback with a learning plan tailored to the skills you need most. Assessments offered include: Basic Computer Skills, Internet Basics, Using Email, Windows 10, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, Google Docs, Information Literacy, Career Search Skills, and Your Digital Footprint. Register for an at-home assessment to complete online or attend an in-person class. See the Tech Learning Lab’s complete program schedule. Once you have a learning plan, you can work at your own pace to tackle online lessons to develop the digital life sklll you need most. Browse our complete listing of computer and technology classes:

  • Event: Multilingual Computer Classes
  • Date & Time: Saturday, April 20, 11:00am
  • Location: Michigan Road Branch
  • Description: Receive personal instruction to advance your computer skills. Students will learn how to create and send emails, how to produce content in Microsoft Word, the tools available within Microsoft Excel, and how to design creations in Microsoft Publisher.
  • Register Here
  • Event: Career and Computer Help Center at Fort Ben
  • Date & Time: Saturday, April 20, 1:00pm
  • Location: Fort Ben Branch
  • Description: Do you need help with resume writing, job searching, or job applications? Or are you interested in learning new computer skills? Join us for this bi-weekly drop-in program for one-on-one assistance.
  • No Registration Required.
  • Event: Explore STEM + More
  • Date & Time: Saturday, April 20, 2:00pm
  • Location: Central Library
  • Description: Come join Media Learning Specialists in the Learning Curve! Children and their families are welcome to check out some of our technology, toys, and games.
  • No Registration Required.

2. Find affordable device access in your neighborhood.

You can also use your Library card to check out a Chromebook laptop and a device called a hotspot to connect to the Internet for free. A WiFi hotspot provides a link to the Internet from anyplace you plug it in! Borrow a hotspot or Chromebook from one of our 12 locations that currently lend them. Availability for these devices is during regular branch hours. The Chromebooks and Hot Spots are not-requestable, or renewable, but are available for check out first come, first serve.

3. Have internet but suspect it isn’t reliable? Can’t get broadband to your home? Share your experience.

Indiana’s State Broadband Office is helping Hoosiers use their voice when it comes to their unreliable or absent broadband connectivity. Visit this website that allows users to test internet speed and answer questions regarding their connectivity.

4. Help map the solutions to the digital devide in your neighborhood.

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Explore Indiana’s Digital Equity Map to find resources in your community. Have a resource you want to share? Submit your community digital inclusion resource to help support the states first Digital Equity Plan.

Need help? Ask a Library staff member at any of our locations or call, text or email Ask-a-Librarian.

All smartphones and tablets have a set amount of storage space built into them. For some devices the amount can increase, but even when that is possible, there are limits to how much storage space you can add. The amount of storage space your device has controls how many apps and files you can store on it at once. Whether your device has a small amount of smartphone storage space or you just tend to keep a large quantity of files or apps in your storage, it is important to know how much free space you have left.

Why this Skill is Important

Knowing how much free storage space you have left can help you make the best decisions about using your device. Try to avoid situations where you want to install new apps or save new files, but can’t because you don’t have enough free space to hold everything you need. Those situations can lead to making quick decisions about what files or apps to delete in order to make space. Learning to monitor your storage space can help you avoid those kinds of rushed, possibly regrettable decisions.

How to Tell What Takes Up the Most Smartphone Storage Space

Units specific to computer memory are used to measure the storage space on tablets and smartphones. The most common units you will see in reference to your device’s storage space are KilobytesMegabytes, and Gigabytes; usually they are abbreviated to KBMB, and GB.

  • Of these 3 units, a Kilobyte (KB) is the smallest unit.
  • Megabytes (MB) are larger than KB and smaller than GB; 1 MB is equal to 1,024 KB.
  • Gigabytes (GB) are the largest units out of the 3; 1 GB is equal to 1,024 MB.

When trying to decide what files or apps to remove from your device to regain storage space, remember that something that takes up GBs of space is much larger than something that only takes up KBs or MBs of space.


Check your device to see how storage space use. Start by opening your Settings section. Often you can access Settings by swiping down from the top of the screen and tapping an icon shaped like a gear. Usually, you can also find a Settings app with the other app icons on your screen. Storage or Internal Storage is the area you need to view. You may need to check under the Device or General headings to find it. You may also be able to use a search bar to easily locate this area by searching for “storage.”

Most Android devices will show you a “progress bar” style graphic or pie chart that shows you visually how storage space use, broken down into various categories such as Apps, Images or Pictures, Video, Audio, and Downloads, with their corresponding amounts of used storage space. Once you know more about what is taking up your storage space, you can make informed choices about what to delete. Many Android devices will make recommendations about what actions you can take to free up storage space. Depending on your device, you may need to locate the list of all installed apps in Settings in order to uninstall whole apps or clear away some of their data. Remove other things like photos, documents, and audio files by opening whichever app you use to view those types of files.

For more help freeing up space on your Android device, check out this guide from Google.

You may be able to gain some extra space by using a microSD card with your Android device. A microSD card is a small, physical piece of storage. It is inserted into a slot on many Android devices. Devices with a microSD card slot can use microSD cards as portable, removable storage for many types of files such as photos. Many devices can also use microSD cards as internal storage. Be sure to check what options will be compatible with your Android device before purchasing a microSD card!


iPhones do not have expandable internal storage. This is one of the major differences between iPhones and Android smartphones.

To learn more about your iPhone’s storage space use, open Settings, then tap General, and finally, tap iPhone Storage. This screen will show you a chart of your total storage space used, broken down by category. If you are near your storage limit, your iPhone will have recommendations for actions you could take to increase your available storage space.

Below the chart, you will see a list of apps showing the total amount of storage each one is using. Tapping on each app in this list will show you the options for managing that app’s storage space. Some apps may have specific, storage-saving recommendations. Apps that can be deleted give you the option to offload the app or delete it. Offloading removes the app from your device’s storage, but keeps any data the app may be storing. This means that if you install the offloaded app again in the future, your phone will still be able to access any personalized information that the app has created. If you are often out of smartphone storage space offload infrequently used apps in order to free up space.

For more help managing your iPhone’s storage, check out this guide from Apple.

Smartphone Basics

Use the recommended titles here to explore the features of your smartphone. Whether you have an Android or an iPhone, these recent books can help you learn to make your device work best for you! Many of the skills and topics covered here would also apply to Android tablets and iPads.

Title - AndroidTitle - IPhoneTitle - Android Phones for SeniorsTitle - IPhone for SeniorsTitle - How Are Smartphones Made and Sold?Title - Samsung Galaxy S20 for DummiesTitle - Samsung Galaxy S10Title - Samsung Galaxy S9

Phone and tablet devices connect to the Internet almost anywhere through cellular data or nearby Wi-Fi. What’s the difference between cellular data and Wi-Fi? Mobile phone services provide cellular data through their data plans. You can access the internet anywhere there is a phone signal using cellular data. Wi-Fi connects wirelessly to the internet based on a device’s location. A device can connect to Wi-Fi at home or in public places like libraries, stores, or restaurants.

Why is knowing the differences between Wi-Fi and mobile cellular data important?

Tasks like downloading new apps, sending/receiving email, or making video calls require access to the internet.

Many cellular data plans only give a certain amount of cellular data per month. Additionally, plans may charge extra for exceeding the plan’s cellular data limit.

In contrast, while connected to Wi-Fi you can use the Internet as much as you want without using any of the mobile data included in your plan.

Knowing when to use both kinds of connections and how to switch between them can save money. It is also good to know that options in “Settings” show how much monthly cellular data has been used.


Generally, an icon at the top of the screen indicates whether your device’s Wi-Fi is turned on or off. The image on the right is a commonly used Wi-Fi symbol.

Open Settings to adjust your device’s Wi-Fi connections. From the list of potential options, choose which Wi-Fi network to connect to. You will need to enter a password to connect to a locked Wi-Fi network. You do not need to enter a password to enter an unlocked Wi-Fi network.

Manually connect to Wi-Fi networks the first time you use them. Later, if you are near a Wi-Fi network you have used in the past, your device may automatically connect to it.

Use Wi-Fi rather than mobile cellular data for tasks like downloading apps and streaming video/audio. Doing this will help you use less of your mobile cellular data each month.

Mobile Cellular Data

Access mobile cellular data controls from “Settings.” Turn cellular data on and off by flipping a switch button between these two choices.

Your device will be unable to connect to the internet if you are not connected to Wi-Fi and your cellular data is off. Turn mobile cellular data back on to use the internet when you are out of range of Wi-Fi.

Mobile cellular data can be used to create a “hotspot” that other devices, such as laptops, can use to connect to the internet. Access this option from “Settings.” Some mobile cellular data providers charge more for this option. Remember that using your mobile cellular data as a hotspot access point for other devices counts toward your monthly cellular data usage!


On an Android device, adjust Wi-Fi and mobile cellular data controls from “Settings.” Different brands of Android devices organize these controls in different ways. You may see options for Wi-Fi or cellular data right away once you open “Settings,” but if not, look under a category like “Network and Internet” or “Connections.”

To quickly adjust Wi-Fi controls, swipe down from the top of the screen.

For more help and tips, check out these support topics from Google.


Adjust Wi-Fi and mobile cellular data controls from “Settings.” Tap Wi-Fi or Cellular to make changes to either option.

To quickly adjust Wi-Fi controls on an iPhone, swipe up from the bottom of the screen.

Adjust your Wi-Fi controls on an iPad by swiping down from the top-right edge of the screen.

For more help with Wi-Fi, check out these instructions from Apple.

For more help with mobile cellular data, check out these instructions from Apple.

Want to learn more? See our listing of online classes to level up your tech and mobile skills.

learn coding skills at The Library

CompTIA’s Cyberstates Report shows that tech employment in Indianapolis is growing. Many of those jobs require some coding skills or technical skill training. There are a wealth of resources available to help you learn to code or start to transition into a tech career. So many that it can often feel overwhelming to know where to start! Here are some of our favorite library resources, free online resources, and community organizations that can help you take a first step into developing new coding and tech skills. Join The Library’s coding and tech focused community page on

What is coding?

Coding or, computer programming, is communicating with computers by creating a set of instructions for the computer to follow. Code can be used in many different ways: making websites and smartphone apps, analyzing information or data for businesses, building software for computers, to control robots, or even automating simple, repetitive tasks on a computer such as filling in forms or sending email reminders. Technology shapes the world around us. Learning to code can help you control that technology and create new uses for it.

Why should you learn to code?

If you are exploring new career options, want a new creative hobby, or just want to understand how the technology around you works – you should consider learning to code! Learning to code will help you be a more informed computer user and provide you with interesting options for solving tech-based problems. If you enjoy creating, then coding opens new digital creativity pathways for art, music, and more. For those seeking a new career, coding and tech skills can lead to high-demand career paths with good income potential – both in the tech industry and in other industries that require workers to operate in a tech-rich workplace.


  • Event: Team STEAM at Warren
  • Date & Time: Saturday, May 11, 10:30am
  • Location: Warren Branch
  • Description: School-age children ages 6 – 12 are invited to engage in a variety of STEAM activities. Try out games, coding, art projects, and more. Participants will have a chance to get hands-on experience with various areas of science and technology while boosting their creativity.
  • No Registration Required.
  • Event: Team STEAM at Warren
  • Date & Time: Saturday, June 08, 10:30am
  • Location: Warren Branch
  • Description: School-age children ages 6 – 12 are invited to engage in a variety of STEAM activities. Try out games, coding, art projects, and more. Participants will have a chance to get hands-on experience with various areas of science and technology while boosting their creativity.
  • No Registration Required.

Favorite Free, Online Resources

  • LinkedIn Learning
  • Learn relevant, professional skills on LinkedIn Learning. Your library card gives you free unlimited access to more than 16,000 courses in 7 different languages: English, French, German Japanese, Spanish, Mandarin, and Portuguese. Learn how here.
  • Jobs in Tech 101 from TechPoint
  • Explore the Indy tech workforce with this website designed to help demystify what a “tech job” is and what companies are “tech companies.” See day-in-the-life interviews with local tech professionals who work in sales, customer support, product development, and more.
  • Get Certification from FreeCodeCamp
  • FreeCodeCamp offers free lessons and certification on in-demand skills and languages including Web Design, Front and Back End Web Development, Python, Data Analysis, and Machine Learning.
  • Not Certain What Language is RIght for You? Try This Quiz
  • Quiz results include information about a language and information about what types of companies and jobs use the language.
  • Mozilla’s Web Developer Tutorial
  • Mozilla offers tutorials to help at multiple skills levels from complete beginner to building a basic web project or browser extensions.
  • Learn How to Code with CodeCademy
  • Codecademy has several free lesson sets. This is a great resource for complete beginners to coding.
  • SQL Murder Mystery
  • Learn the basics of SQL, a database query language, while solving a puzzle. This lesson is a fun mix of a playful murder mystery and a solid introduction to basic SQL knowedge.

Get Involved – Organizations in and around Indy

Connect with the community-based organizations who help support adults who are transitioning into a Tech Career

Learn how to use coding languages such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to build a basic website with code.

Title - HTML in Easy StepsTitle - HTML & CSSTitle - Create With CodeTitle - Web Design Playground

Computers have become so prevalent that typing on a keyboard efficiently and accurately has become an essential life skill. Children use computer keyboards in school to do research, type answers, take tests, and create projects. Adults do the same at work writing reports, inputting data, and creating projects. Good keyboarding skills means having all ten fingers and zero eyes on the keyboard. If you would like to improve your keyboarding skills The Library can help!

Online Keyboarding Skills Practice

Library staff recommend these practice tools and games to help improve your skills:

Use Our Computer Labs to Practice Your Skills

If you have difficulty finding time on a keyboard at home, finding uninterrupted practice time at home, or are tutoring or working with someone who needs keyboarding time, keep in mind that all of our locations have computer labs you can use to improve your skills. To get a “turn” on a computer you will need your IndyPL Library card. If you do not have a library card you can use one of our computers by picking up a guest pass at the desk. Or, ask a staff member about how to get a card of your own. We love to help people get a Library card!

Upcoming Library Programs

  • Event: Typing Practice and Instruction
  • Date & Time: Wednesday, May 08, 2:00pm
  • Location: Martindale-Brightwood Branch
  • Description: Are you ready to dive into the basics of keyboarding? Course will include fun activities to learn how to type. Adults are invited to learn how to click, scroll, and what to do with some of those strange keys on the keyboard. Get a crash course on computer parts and keys!
  • Register Here

January is Data Privacy Month, an international effort to empower individuals and encourage businesses to respect privacy, safeguard data and enable trust. We invite you to several library events that will help you learn how to secure your own data.

See our full listing of computer and technology classes. Looking to improve more of your technology skills? A good place to start is improving keyboarding skills.

Keep It Private – Data Privacy

Everything you do online generates data. Discover how your data is used and steps you can take to control how it is shared and used. Gain an understanding of the privacy/convenience tradeoff around online data, how to manage your privacy online, and steps you can take to protect your online data.

Title - Beyond DataTitle - Algorithmic Rights and Protections for ChildrenTitle - The Fight for PrivacyTitle - 200+ Ways to Protect your PrivacyTitle - "I Have Nothing to Hide"Title - PrivacyTitle - Privacy, Data Harvesting, and YouTitle - Privacy Is Power