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Northstar Digital Literacy

Libraries have long known that to succeed in the information age, people need the digital skills to make use of online services and computer resources. Northstar is a valuable tool to help libraries help their communities, and thanks to an initial IMLS ARPA grant and ongoing support from LSTA funds from the State Library, it's now available to all Ohio libraries.


Northstar focuses on basic digital literacy skills—such as using a mouse, searching on the internet, and using email—as well as advanced skills, like using Google Docs and searching for jobs online.

  1. Assessments in sixteen digital skills areas measure proficiency and identify skill gaps. Learners who take proctored assessments through a Northstar subscriber location can receive certificates or badges, which inspire a sense of confidence and accomplishment as well as allow them to demonstrate skills to potential employers.
  2. Instructor-led curricula provide detailed lesson plans for teachers and can be used remotely or in person. The curricula is easy to follow, learner-centered, interactive and flexible. Each lesson plan includes a detailed teacher prep guide.
  3. Self-directed online learning provides individualized online instruction and practice. Learners can independently access original online content incorporating Northstar standards, instruction, and practice. When learners complete an assessment, they are automatically directed to the Northstar Online Learning (NSOL) content corresponding to what they still need to learn. 

As Northstar locations, libraries can create learner accounts, which track online learning and the assessments completed. When libraries become Northstar testing locations, they can award certificates and digital badges, which inspire a sense of confidence and accomplishment, and demonstrate skill mastery to potential employers.


Visit DigitalLiteracyAssessment.org, and click the green TAKE AN ASSESSMENT button.

"Take An Assessment" button

Choose any one of the 16 modules to test yourself.


There are lots of things for libraries to consider as they prepare to implement Northstar locally.  Here are some frequently asked questions and answers that may help.


As always, there is a wealth of marketing materials that OPLIN has consolidated and created for your library.


If your library has additional questions about Northstar Digital Literacy, please contact Christine Morris at 614-728-5252 or christine AT oplin.ohio.gov


Community partners may also be interested in learning more about Northstar.  Here is an overview of the Northstar grant project that you can share with potential digital literacy partners in your community.