Library Advocates

ALA Washington Office

The American Library Association's Washington Office tumblr. We post about federal policies that affect libraries, including copyright, privacy and access. We also post about ebooks and, admittedly, the occasional library fluff.

Library Advocates

Posts tagged digital literacy

Mar 27

St. Paul Public Library: Sharing More Than Books


Mar 14

Mar 6

Feb 11

Oct 21
I am 88% certain this approach does not work.

I am 88% certain this approach does not work.


Oct 16
“Libraries are the institutions across the country best equipped to provide public Internet access along with digital content and digital literacy support.”

Aug 19

The Digital Divide Is Still Leaving Americans Behind

[F]olks in urban areas in search of free Internet often wind up at libraries. New York City libraries house over 4,000 publicly available computers and 1,300 laptops available for rent. New York Public Library President and CEO Anthony Marx told Mashable the New York Public Library was the leading free provider of basic computer skills training, with over 7,700 classes in all of its branches. Marx said these classes were intended to increase computer literacy among New Yorkers.

“If you don’t have the basic computer skills, you can’t apply for a job. You can’t be qualified for a job. Let alone emailing your mother and keeping in touch with her,” he said.

But Marx said that over the past five years, the city has reduced the library’s funding by about 18%, and though they haven’t closed branches or reduced staff, it’s nearly impossible to reach every New Yorker in need of a computer or wireless access.

The Digital Divide Is Still Leaving Americans Behind


Jun 18

May 22
“'Librarians have a natural place in the forefront of helping students be more adept at online research. School librarians should be a partner in this,' one teacher said. 'Oftentimes, teachers don't realize that, or sadly schools don't have school librarians.'” EdWeek: Teaching Students Better Online Research Skills

May 3
Report: Libraries put BTOP funds to work, strengthening communities nationwide
The ALA’s “U.S. Public Libraries and Broadband Technology Opportunities Program” is the first to highlight state and local library BTOP projects nationwide and the improvements they have made to public access technology resources, digital literacy, and workforce development. Library projects in 29 states and the District of Columbia are featured in the report.
“Libraries have served as first responders in these tough economic times,” said ALA President Maureen Sullivan. “Millions of Americans have turned to us to gain new technology skills and access to specialized resources. BTOP has helped to enable expanded services and to develop the improved infrastructure to meet these community needs.”
Highlights:
Nearly all statewide library projects include digital literacy training. More than 367,000 Coloradans increased their digital literacy skills through that state’s BTOP project. Ninety-five percent of those who took formal classes in Colorado stated they learned a valuable skill and would recommend the classes to others.
Nearly 600 people who participated in New York State Library’s “Broadband Express @ your library” programs and used online job resources went on to secure employment.
The Nebraska Library Commission has more than doubled its grant goal, which was to upgrade broandband speeds for 45 libraries in this mostly rural state. Of the 101 libraries upgraded so far, the average speed moved from 2.9 Mbps to 21.4 Mbps.
Alaska, Delaware, Maine, Oklahoma and Rhode Island have established new videoconferencing capabilities in several, if not all, libraries in their states. The Maine State Library is deploying its statewide network to provide legal information clinics through the Volunteer Lawyers Project. The clinics are offered in real time, allowing patrons at multiple locations, and especially in rural locations, to attend and ask questions directly of the presenting attorney.

Report: Libraries put BTOP funds to work, strengthening communities nationwide

The ALA’s “U.S. Public Libraries and Broadband Technology Opportunities Program” is the first to highlight state and local library BTOP projects nationwide and the improvements they have made to public access technology resources, digital literacy, and workforce development. Library projects in 29 states and the District of Columbia are featured in the report.

“Libraries have served as first responders in these tough economic times,” said ALA President Maureen Sullivan. “Millions of Americans have turned to us to gain new technology skills and access to specialized resources. BTOP has helped to enable expanded services and to develop the improved infrastructure to meet these community needs.”

Highlights:

  • Nearly all statewide library projects include digital literacy training. More than 367,000 Coloradans increased their digital literacy skills through that state’s BTOP project. Ninety-five percent of those who took formal classes in Colorado stated they learned a valuable skill and would recommend the classes to others.
  • Nearly 600 people who participated in New York State Library’s “Broadband Express @ your library” programs and used online job resources went on to secure employment.
  • The Nebraska Library Commission has more than doubled its grant goal, which was to upgrade broandband speeds for 45 libraries in this mostly rural state. Of the 101 libraries upgraded so far, the average speed moved from 2.9 Mbps to 21.4 Mbps.
  • Alaska, Delaware, Maine, Oklahoma and Rhode Island have established new videoconferencing capabilities in several, if not all, libraries in their states. The Maine State Library is deploying its statewide network to provide legal information clinics through the Volunteer Lawyers Project. The clinics are offered in real time, allowing patrons at multiple locations, and especially in rural locations, to attend and ask questions directly of the presenting attorney.

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