Towards Digital Literacy -- Libraries Thriving

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Depending on the type of library in which you work, you may assume that someone is "digitally literate." Yet what do we mean by those words and how do we know if the person meets our definition? What can we do in our libraries to increase the information and digital literacy of our users/patrons/members/owners? How does that impact the tools that we acquire and the services that we provide? Who should we be partnering with in these efforts? These and other questions will be address in this session, which will also include time for brainstorming. Jill Hurst-Wahl is an associate professor of practice in Syracuse Universitys School of Information Studies and the director of its library and information science program. She is a member of SLAs Board of Directors, NYS Regents Advisory Council on Libraries, and the USNY Technology Policy and Practices Council. A former corporate librarian, Jill has always been an advocate for libraries being centers of learning in their communities (no matter what community they serve).


  • 1. Towards Digital LiteracyAugust 6, 2012

2. Best Practices1. Send questions or comments to LauraWarren, Libraries Thriving Coordinator-laura.warren@credoreference.com2. Share comments and questions throughoutthe session via the chat box.3. Continue the conversation on the LibrariesThriving Discussion Forum. 3. Towards Digital LiteracyJill Hurst-Wahl @jill_hw August 2012 4. QUICK POLLWhat type of computing device do you use for pleasure?SmartphoneTablet computer/iPadeReaderLaptop computerDesktop computer 5. WHO AM I?Syracuse Univ. School of Information Studies Associate Professor of Practice Director, Library & Information Science ProgramConsultant, Speaker, AuthorA baby boomer who frequently acts like a millennial. 6. 7. Literacy represents a personsability to read, write, and solveproblems using both spoken andWHAT IS DIGITAL LITERACY?written language. Digital literacy isthe ability to apply those sameskills using technology such asdesktop computers, ebook readersand smartphones. Digital Literacy Standards for New Yorkers 8. WHAT DOES PARTICIPATING IN THISWEBINAR SAY ABOUT YOU?You are able to use a computer & the Internet.You know how to access a webinar.You have access to good technology.You are comfortable with technology.Trying new technology doesnt scare you.You believe in continuous learning.You are willing to engage in online learning.You are different than others in your community. 9. YOUR COMMUNITY Generation Z through Silent (WWII) and the Lost(WWI) generations. A percentage do not have Internet access at home. In 2010, the US ranked 15th out of the top 31countries in terms of broadband penetration. [a] Some have Internet access on their mobile device. In 2010, 59% of adults use the Internet from amobile device. [b] Must be able to afford a data plan. Smartphone vs. feature phone. 10. YOUR COMMUNITY One in five American adults does not use theinternet. [c] The 27% of adults living with disability in theU.S. today are significantly less likely thanadults without a disability to go online (54% vs.81%). [c] 88% of American adults have a cell phone,57% have a laptop, 19% own an e-book reader,and 19% have a tablet computer; about six inten adults (63%) go online wirelessly with oneof those devices. [c] 11. BUT YOU ALREADYKNEW THAT 12. DIGITAL LITERACYS IMPACTON OUR SERVICES? 13. HOW DO WE INCREASE INFO & DIGITALLITERACY?Create an atmosphere of acceptance.Train every staff member to be teacher.See every interaction as a teaching opportunity.Create workshops and one-on-one instruction.In the library and at other locationsTake the instruction to them 14. HOW DO WE INCREASE INFO & DIGITAL LITERACY?Create jargon-less library materials. More than 50% of students entering two-yearcolleges & nearly 20% of those entering four-year universities are placed in remedialclasses. [d]Change your attitude. Understand that literacy is like photosynthesis.It is the key to our long-term survival. 15. WHO CAN WE PARTNER WITH? The usual suspects OthersK-12 schoolsBookstoresColleges andMedia publishers universities (e.g., recordingSocial service studios) agenciesArtistsService organizations Trade unionsReligious organizationsUse your imagination!Media organizations (e.g., newspapers) 16. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?QUESTIONS?


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