A nonprofit that has been providing free training and education in digital literacy for the last 20 years will merge with the Spokane Public Library this summer.
Tincan, The Inland Northwest Community Access Network, has been sustained with government-funded grants, but with major budget cuts, it no longer has adequate funding to remain independent, said Tara Neumann, the organization’s executive director.
Tincan offers free classes and training programs in computer technology, website design, editing, email, applying for jobs and more.
It was started at Eastern Washington University in 1994 with a government grant. The goal was to create “equitable access to telecommunication and computer technology,” according to Tincan’s website. Neumann originally proposed a partnership with the library to help amplify Tincan’s outreach. The two organizations have collaborated over the years on grant partnerships and several educational programs.
Once Tincan merges into the library, Neumann will join the library staff and its resources and equipment will be donated to the library.
The library will offer classes by this fall beginning in the East Side Library facility.
Currently the Spokane Public library provides free, unlimited Wi-Fi at all locations; computers with Internet access; classes for new computer users led by library staff members; and online instruction through Gale Courses and Microsoft IT Academy, among other offerings. Library spokeswoman Eva Silverstone said Tincan’s programs – including advanced software access, Apple computers, extensive video production equipment and more – will complement what the library already offers.