Tech drop-ins at NE library offers help for beginners


Library. Digital inclusion fellow Wendy Pearson (right) helps a customer at the NE Branch of the KC Public Library on Jan. 9. Paul Thompson

By Paul Thompson
Northeast News
January 11, 2017
KANSAS CITY, Missouri – The North-East library has a new program aimed specifically for beginners looking to take their first steps into the age of technology.
Free drop-in tech assistance is now being offered at the North-East branch of the Kansas City Public Library system each Monday from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. On January 9, the Northeast News stopped by the library to see just what was being offered during the weekly two-hour window.
Wendy Pearson currently heads the drop-in technology services at the North-East branch. Pearson is one of 22 digital inclusion fellows throughout the nation being funded by Google Fiber and administered by the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN), which is based out of Portland, Oregon. Kansas City was one of 11 cities partnering with Google Fiber and NTEN for the initiative. After Kansas City was announced as one of the partner cities, organizations in the area were given the opportunity to apply for one of two fellows provided through the program. The Kansas City Public Library’s application was accepted.
“I’m here for a year, and my objective is to kind of standardize digital literacy services across our branches,” said Pearson. “We have a very strong program at Central Library downtown, but that’s obviously not affecting the patrons who live near the Southeast Library or the North-East branch, for example.”
The library hopes to expand its technology program at first through these weekly drop-in sessions, and later through outreach programs conducted throughout the community. Pearson noted that a grant recently issued to the library has given her access to a mobile computer lab that will be used to run those community technology classes.
“We have a fleet of 24 laptops that are going to eventually enable us to take the show on the road,” said Pearson.
For now, drop-in sessions at local library branches are the main vehicle used by Pearson to offer technology assistance to the community. In practice, that can mean anything from helping a patron put together an online job or health care application to showing a tech beginner how to set up an email account.
“We are actually learning through the first few weeks of this program that patrons are needing a lot more basic help than we expected,” said Pearson. “Every single time I have sat down to help someone, they are very shy and a little scared, I’ll even say. The process by which I help people is that I don’t touch the computer. They learn pretty quickly that they’re capable, because they’re doing it.”
Though drop-in appointments are only available from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. on Mondays, one-on-one appointments can also be scheduled by calling the North-East branch of the Kansas City Public Library at (816) 701-3485. If you’re interested in volunteering as a tech coach, visit For more information, email or call her at (816) 803-8807.



Comments are closed.

  • Probable cause statement reveals details of Sunday homicide on Ewing Ave.

    18 hours ago

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News Just after 5:00 a.m. on the morning of Sunday, October 15, a woman approached a […]

    KCAI students working on new mural project at Whittier Elementary

    22 hours ago

    By Melissa Wharton Northeast News Following last year’s completion of the Scarritt Elementary murals, artist Hector Casanova and his Kansas […]

    Shooting near Denver and Smart in Northeast KC

    October 18th, 2017

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News A shooting near the intersection of Denver and Smart Avenues in the Historic Northeast on […]

    NEKC Chamber is Calling Commercial Real Estate Developers

    October 18th, 2017

    Melissa Wharton Northeast News If you saw any slow-driving buses last Wednesday, they were most likely part of NEKC Chamber […]

    CID Spread: Charritos Taqueria & Taco Express Taqueria

    October 18th, 2017

  • Library set to launch refugee photography series

    October 17th, 2017

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News The Kansas City Public Library will soon be offering a snapshot into the lives of […]

    KCMO Parks Director elected president of national organization

    October 16th, 2017

    By Melissa Wharton Northeast News Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation Director Mark McHenry was elected in September as president […]

    Northeast Newscast Episode 29 w/ KCPD’s new Community Initiative Officer Jason Cooley

    October 13th, 2017

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News This week on the Northeast Newscast, KCPD’s newly appointed Community Initiative Officer, Jason Cooley, sits […]

New design revealed for high-crash Paseo Gateway intersection

    October 12th, 2017

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News According to Parks and Recreation project manager James Wang, the intersection of Independence Avenue and […]

    KCMO Mayor Sly James launches campaign for Amazon’s HQ2

    October 11th, 2017

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News If there was ever any doubt, Mayor Sly James revealed just how serious he is […]

  • What’s Happening

    retorts illustrated by bryan stalder

    NEKCHS 6th Annual Historic Homes Tour In Pendleton Heights

    Delaware one of the city’s oldest streets

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News Most of the buildings shown in this Southwest News Company postcard published in 1907 were demolished […]

  • Local Weather