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Computer Training

  • Welcome
  • Self-Guided Training
  • FAQs


Labor & Literacy Lab

  • Create a resume
  • Improve basic skills
  • Get skill Certificates

IC3 Computer Certification

  • What is IC3?
  • Where can I get certified?






The next class session will begin in the new year. Feel free to contact us and we will notify you of class availability. Courses for fall 2023 are already in session. New students are invited to visit the Labor and Literacy Lab in the Library in the meantime..

Interested? To begin the registration process, fill out this interest form.

¿Estas Interesado? Para comenzar el proceso de registro, complete este formulario.

The Plainfield Public Library has a variety of training options to fit your skill-level and availability that you can access for free. Plainfield residency is not required. Courses and testing fees are covered by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development and Union County Workforce Development Board & Union County Board of County Commissioners.

Our experienced instructors will:

  • Assess your existing levels of computer proficiency to target learning outcomes

  • Present real time online or in person instruction targeting specific concepts
  • Prepare you to take industry-standard certification tests for stackable credentials in computer skills.

  • Provide live online or in person support sessions.

  • Connect you with appropriate online content through the Library’s training resources

There is an option for you!


Show employers you have the skills they need. Offering both day in-person and an online evening program, our live classes will train you to get your Northstar Digital Literacy Certifications in Essential Computer Skills and Essential Software Skills, IC3 Key Applications Certification and prepare you for Microsoft Office Specialist exams 

We offer a variety of different programs:

  • Northstar Digital Literacy / IC3 Key Applications Programs: 8-10 weeks IN PERSON. Day Program. Covers basic computer and internet skills, Microsoft Word, Powerpoint and Excel. Three days of instruction (10am-1pm) plus lab time.

  • Northstar/IC3 Key Applications Evening Program: 8-10 weeks LIVE ONLINE instruction; three evenings a week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday) including lab time

  • MOS Word and MOS Excel(prerequisite: Northstar/IC3 certification): 10 weeks, 2 days/week May be offered evenings or days.

  • Computación en Español:
    Clases presenciales en el Laboratorio de Computadoras. Tres noches a la semana (lunes, martes, miércoles) más tiempo de laboratorio.

  • Labor and Literacy Lab with Northstar self-paced instruction in the Library’s lab with an in person Labor and Literacy Guide.

Course offering and schedules subject to change depending on enrollment.

 Already have some skills and want to skip ahead? Talk to us about testing out by passing the certification tests.

Student class placement will be based on learning assessment and class availability/enrollment.

Digital Literacy Program,
908-757-1111 x 123

Self-Guided Training
Finally, you always have the option to work at your own pace and on your own schedule with the Library's self-directed training resources.

Looking for help with your Job Search?
Check out the Job Search Assistance page. 


Even if your schedule doesn’t allow you to attend classes, the Library has free self-directed options you can use to learn new computer skills.

The Library offers FREE online computer training via our Online Databases. (Downloadable Guide)
Brainfuse Help Now online batabase

The Skill Surfer provides outlines for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and some computer languages. Live help is available 2-11PM, 7 days per week.

Go to BrainFuse's Help Now Enter your Library card number, then click on SkillSurfer, then Computer Technology.

Northstar online database

Northstar Digital Literacy tests your computer skills and. You can build skills in key areas, and demonstrate your knowledge by earning certificates and badges. 
  • Computer Basics
  • Internet Basics
  • Email
  • Windows 10
  • Word
  • Excel
  • and other subjects

Stop by our Labor and Literacy Lab or email to find out more. 

SkillShare online database

Looking for more specialized training? Skillshare offers a wide variety of video based trainings!

Due to high value, the Library's Skillshare access is allotted on a month-to-month basis. Use this form to request access. When you are approved, you will be emailed a link and login instructions.

Skill Up NJ, Department of Labor

Offered through the Department of Labor, SkillUp NJ offers a variety of high-level self-paced online trainings from basic business and personal skills to complex industry certification tracks for those planning to take industry certification tests.

Other Free Computer Training Resources the Library Recommends
  • GCF LearnFree Technology
    This resource combines lessons including text, videos, and even interactive practice to learn computer and internet basics.
  • Khan Academy
    The Khan Academy's free online learning modules (with videos and self-tests!) allow you to master a wide variety of computing topics, including computer science. Try How Computers Work and Internet 101 to get started

Need help while working on your Digital Literacy? Please visit the Labor and Literacy Lab during open hours and speak with our Labor and Literacy Guides!


What is Northstar Digital Literacy?
 Northstar Digital Literacy is a tool for learning and demonstrating “the basic skills needed to use a computer and the internet in daily life, employment, and higher education.” It includes both computerized pre- and post- assessments, as well as learning modules that can be taken online or presented by an instructor. We offer Northstar Digital Literacy as part of our programs as an introductory program for people working toward their IC3 as well as those who aren’t ready for the IC3 program. The Northstar certificates we cover in class are Basic Computer Skills, Internet Basics, Using Email, Windows OS, Microsoft Word, Powerpoint and Excel.  For more information about Northstar, see their web page.

What is the IC3?
IC3 stands for Internet and Computing Core Competency. It’s an industry-recognized certification of computer use competency. We are currently using the IC3 GS5. The GS5 certification is comprised of three exams: Computing Fundamentals, Living Online, and Key Applications. Passing all three exams earns the student the IC3 Digital Literacy Certificate. In addition to basic understanding of the Windows operating system, email, hardware, networking, security, and Internet use, it includes the basics of Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel and Powerpoint. For more information, visit the Certiport IC3 GS5 page.

What is the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) program?
The Microsoft Office Specialist exams/certifications are an industry-recognized standard for more in-depth understandings of Microsoft Office tools. Passing three “Core” or associate tests earns the student the Microsoft Office Specialist full certification. The library is currently offering live instruction for Microsoft Word and Excel, but registered students also have access to the study materials for the other Office 2016 Specialist tests and take those exams at no cost to themselves. For more information, visit the Certiport MOS page.

What if I forgot my PIN?
If you do not remember your PIN code (necessary for access to some services) and wish to reset it, please click on the "Your Library Card" link on the top right-hand corner of any page on the Library's website and select the red "Forgot my PIN" option.

How do I get a Plainfield Library card?
The computer resources used in our current classes are accessible to anyone with card from their NJ home library. If you live in Plainfield and do not have a library card or have lost your existing card, please contact the Circulation Department for assistance. If you do not live in Plainfield please request a a Library card from your local Library instead.

I do not wish to disclose my information to the Department of Labor/Union County AJC, would I be able to attend the class anyway?
In short, no. To keep these programs 100% free to the public, a large portion of the funding comes through grants from the Union County Workforce Development Board & Union County Board of County Commissioners. Providing that information to them is required to be compliant with funding conditions. Please contact us to discuss this if you have concerns:

Do I need Microsoft Office on my computer to join the workshops?
Depending on the class you may be required to use Office 2016 or Office Online (free). The IC3 class and some workshops whose description is related to Microsoft Office will require you to have Microsoft Office in order to get the most out of the Workshop.

Students attending class in person will be able to use the library’s computers to complete their class and homework; for remote online classes, a computer will be required.

I only have a tablet or a phone, can I participate in the online workshop?
For the IC3 programs, you will need to use a computer to participate in class work and complete homework. Day students will be using the library’s computer lab; evening students will need to have an computer at home.

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