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Published: Tuesday, 1/11/2011

Rossford Public Library, others to offer classes on Internet, broadband service

Rossford Public Library is among more than 100 libraries and community colleges statewide chosen to be part of a program to teach Internet skills and introduce high-speed broadband in hopes of increasing usage.

The Woodville branch of Birchard Public Library of Sandusky County and Ida Rupp Public Library in Port Clinton are among other participants statewide in the program, called Every Citizen Online.

The local libraries were chosen by Connect Ohio, which received $6.9 million in federal funding and more than $3 million in contributions from entities statewide to offer the program. The goal is to boost adoption of broadband services and train up to 200,000 Ohioans over the next two years, the nonprofit group said. An advertising campaign for the program started late last year.

"We have had some people who have seen it on PBS call us," said Kristine Goldsmith of the Rossford Public Library. "It's spared some interest already, so we hope it will be successful."

Rossford Public Library will add the Every Citizen Online training to regular ongoing computer classes, including 20-minute sessions on Tuesday with its information technology specialist. Each Every Citizen Online class will be offered in three, two-hour sessions, and the frequency and times over the next two years will depend on interest, Ms. Goldsmith said.

The program's first class program at Rossford will begin at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 20, followed by sessions at the same time on Jan. 27 and Feb. 3. For more information, call 419-666-0924.

Birchard Public Library will use a mobile computer lab to visit branches to offer classes, starting with Woodville next month. That class already is full.

At Ida Rupp Public Library, new computers were added for the program, which started last week.

For those unable to attend classes, free broadband training is available online at connectohio.org/consumer_training

In Ohio, 66 percent of households have broadband service, but more than 3 million Ohioans do not have high-speed Internet service, according to Connect Ohio.

Contact Julie M. McKinnon at: jmckinnon@theblade.com or 419-724-6087.

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