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State Library Guidebook: Support for Digital Literacy in Public Libraries

December 2, 2013

Ed note: This blog was originally posted on WebJunction. You can find the original blog post here

This digital literacy guidebook was created under a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and is designed for state libraries to use in exploring potential state-level investments and partnerships that advance digital literacy.

State library agencies provide strategic and programmatic support to public library institutions to benefit local communities and help transform people’s lives. Statewide planning by state library agencies helps prioritize resources and support based on common and pressing needs across public libraries. Digital literacy is a critical area of need for support that has been growing in importance for public libraries in serving their communities. Digital literacy will continue to evolve as a necessary skill-set for individuals, organizations, and communities to have in order to participate in our ever more connected society.

This guidebook has been created specifically for state library agencies to use in exploring and considering potential state-level investments and partnerships that advance digital literacy efforts. It is comprised of three primary sections: 1) an overview of the current state of digital literacy in public libraries; 2) a proposed framework for considering specific types of digital literacy supports; and 3) a sample planning process designed for state library agencies.

This guidebook can be printed in its entirety, or in sections, available here as PDF files:

Complete Guidebook (103 pages)

Main Content: Digital Literacy Planning in Action (26 pages)

Appendix A: 2012 Digital Literacy Survey Findings

Appendix B: 202 Digital Literacy Survey Questions

Appendix C: Local Library Case Studies

Appendix D: State Library Support Vignettes

Appendix E: Big List of Support Ideas from State Libraries

The guidebook is designed as a reference tool, rather than a prescriptive roadmap for state library agencies. The content of this guidebook is based on multiple sources of information and project-based experience. National program models and survey data were examined to understand trends and resources. A digital literacy planning process was piloted by WebJunction and partner state library agencies in Illinois, Mississippi, and West Virginia. Interviews with local public libraries provided case studies of digital literacy services and needs. State library agencies across the country provided ideas for possible digital literacy supports and specific examples of state-level investments. Relevant resources have been provided both within the guidebook itself and as appendices or links to external content where appropriate.

We hope that the experiences of state and public libraries captured in this guidebook inspire new investments and partnerships that advance digital literacy across the nation.

Grants to State Library Administrative Agencies