Basic Computer Literacy

Now that technology has permeated all levels of the library’s operations and services, every position requires some level of comfort with computers. This section defines a set of technology core competencies that all staff need in order to contribute to the overall effectiveness of the organization. They are complemented well by the Intermediate Technology Competencies.

Last updated: April 5, 2016

Competency: Performs basic functions of e-mail applications

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Understand email as a basic business function of the library and corresponding appropriate use and etiquette
  • Receives, opens, forwards as needed, or deletes e-mail messages
  • Composes or replies to, addresses and sends e-mail messages
  • Sends, receives and saves attachments
  • Manages addresses/contacts, and extended absence messages
  • Creates folders and files messages for retrieval as needed
  • Identifies and uses web-based e-mail programs as well as desktop e-mail applications
  • Creates and inserts saved signatures when appropriate.

Competency: Performs basic calendar operations and task management

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Creates, accepts and sets recurring appointments
  • Sets reminders for calendar items
  • Plans and schedules meetings and invites attendees
  • Creates and manages task lists.

Competency: Understands and uses basic computer hardware and peripherals

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Understands basic technology terminology
  • Recognizes and understands the functions of basic computer components (computer, monitor, keyboard, mouse, power supply, printer, scanner)
  • Performs basic operations on computer hardware (plug in, start-up, shut-down, reboot, mouse functions, keyboard functions, uses headphones and speakers)
  • Recognizes common removable storage devices (CD or DVD disks, USB drives, floppy disk) and identifies the appropriate drives
  • Performs basic troubleshooting procedures for computer hardware and peripherals
  • Understands the set-up and use of data projectors and other audio-visual equipment used for library programming
  • Performs basic printer maintenance tasks (start-up, load paper and cartridges, clear paper jam)
  • Demonstrates familiarity with the library’s assistive and adaptive devices.

Competency: Understands and performs basic operating system functions

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Performs basic operating system functions (logs on/logs off, launches programs from the desktop or menu, uses multiple open windows, deletes files)
  • Performs common file and folder management tasks and recognizes common file extensions
  • Performs basic computer maintenance tasks (e.g., empties “trash” or “recycle bin,” restores files from trash, runs virus checks).

Competency: Understands and performs basic functions and tasks of common software programs

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Identifies different types and uses of common software applications
  • Performs the manipulations common to most applications (open/close, maximise, scroll, print, etc.)
  • Understands and uses the features common to most applications (menus, toolbars, taskbar, Help menu, product version information, etc.)
  • Performs basic procedures to analyze and address software application problems
  • Locates and opens basic accessibility applications: magnification, narration, virtual keyboard, etc.
  • Determines the most appropriate software application for the task at hand (i.e. word processing vs. spreadsheet)
  • Shares content between compatible software applications (e.g. copies an Excel pie chart into a Word document)
  • Converts items to accessible PDF format, ensuring consistent formatting and display when shared or published online.

Competency: Performs basic printing operations from common applications

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Identifies printers available for a given workstation, changes default network printer when required
  • Identifies local versus networked printers
  • Adjusts the set-up, previews print jobs and performs print operations.

Competency: Demonstrates beginner-level proficiency with word processing programs

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Creates, opens, saves and deletes files
  • Selects, cuts, copies, pastes or deletes text
  • Performs operations to structure, format, spell-check and print documents.

Competency: Demonstrates beginner-level proficiency with spreadsheet programs

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Understands the basic structure of workbooks, worksheets, rows and columns
  • Enters, saves, edits, finds and replaces, and filters data and text
  • Inserts rows, columns and worksheets
  • Copies and moves cells and worksheets
  • Applies basic formatting to cells.

Competency: Demonstrates beginner level proficiency with mobile devices

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Demonstrates familiarity with the use of e-reader devices and downloading of e-books
  • Demonstrates familiarity with other mobile devices in use in the library, including tablets and smartphones
  • Assists patrons to find answers to their questions about device usage
  • Assists patrons who want to print from their own devices to the library’s wireless-enabled printers
  • Assists patrons who want to access music and video management applications from their mobile devices.

Please review's Terms of Use. For questions, comments and suggestions regarding this website, please Contact SOLS Helpdesk.

The Southern Ontario Library Service  is working to make our website accessible to all. We welcome comments and suggestions on access improvements and encourage you to take a look at our updated Accessibility Policy. If you require a particular PDF or word document in an accessible format, please do not hesitate to contact us. We also offer BrowseAloud reading support - click on the orange graphic to the right to launch.  Learn more about BrowseAloud.

The support of the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport is gratefully acknowledged.