Digital Media Literacy, Advocacy and Libraries


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This presentation was made for academic purposes to promote advocacy of media literacy and what libraries can do to ensure communities are educated on how to critically evaluate media content.

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  • Narrated by: JulieOur goal is to provide our communities with trained professionals who can support and impart to children and youth the skills they need to be successful in a highly digital world.
  • Narrated by: JulieChildren and youth use digital media over 7 hours per day and this number does not include multitasking – which results in over 10 hours per day (Kaiser Foundation, 2010). It is a fact of life. According to Young Canadians in a Wired World (2012), Canadian parents feel compelled to track, monitor and harass their children about online activities, or video gaming.Yet, students surveyed largely agreed that school led media and digital literacy efforts had “pathologized” the problem to the point of saturation and kids are saying “enough already” and finding it boring. (p. 23, YWCC, 2012)
  • Narrated by: JulieWhat can help bridge the divide between youth and adults when it comes to digital media and provide proactive engagement on the issue? Media Literacy Strategies that teach critical skills to children and youth so that they participate critically, ethically and socially online. Because media literacy training can be integrated into existing programs, and into everyday interactions with parents and other adults in their lives, it is less about micromanaging and more about fostering independence and confidence building critical thinkers capable of navigating the myriad of media images and interactions out there. Furthermore, children are an active user group of the library so this programming would meet them where they come.
  • Narrated by: Julie-- the library board and chief librarian are stakeholders in all activities undertaken by the library. – surveys of parents show that they are concerned about what their children do online (YCWW, 2012)-- Educators are becoming increasingly concerned about bullying, as evidenced through school-wide campaigns to end bullying (E.g, Ontario), including cyberbullying (e.g. ERASE Bullying in BC) and online safety. --For policy makers and critics, the recent suicide of Port Coquitlam teen Amanda Todd has brought to the forefront a national debate about what children and youth are doing online and what should or can be done. Furthermore, media education continues to be a component of curriculum in most provinces. Influence:All of these groups have the potential to influence decision-makers. Parents may work to advocate with teachers for more access to services that support media literacy. Critics may be reporters who write editorials about the issue, keeping it at the forefront of policy makers minds. Activities at higher levels of government may indirectly influence decision-makers at the municipal level who want to ensure their local communities are concerned about the issues and doing something about it in alignment with the goals of other levels of government (news clippings may be helpful here). Evidence exists to show that children can be taught skills to help them navigate critically online, but that it requires consistent efforts of those people involved in their lives – parents, educators and community agencies working with children can collaboratively build within children the skills needed.
  • Narrated by: JulieEvidence exists to show that children can be taught skills to help them navigate critically online, but that it requires consistent efforts of those people involved in their lives – parents, educators and community agencies working with children can collaboratively build within children the skills needed.Libraries have long supported reading literacy through the provision of print materials, but according to the OCLC 2010 How Canadian Libraries Stack Up Report, libraries are also key providers of free Internet access, free wi-fi and a key place where people receive free technology training. Libraries are also offering video games and DVDs. In speaking to decision-makers, it will be important to find out how aware they are of library related media literacy services and finally, it will be important to align the values of providing such library services with the values decision-makers hold for the overall well-being of the community at large.
  • CEO and Library Board: When approaching the Chief Executive Officer and the Library Board, discussing the importance of media literacy should be done so in light of the library’s mission to strengthen individuals, families and neighbourhoods. A partnership will position the library as a leader that is taking a pro-active stance in the well-being of a generation who will grow up using technology in various aspects of life.A partnership will provide library staff with media literacy training and professional development making them gatekeepers for youth’s access to proper education in critical digital engagement. Since many school libraries are vanishing, the public library can step in and bridge the gap between the information rich and information poor. By creating value-added services, the library's image will be enhanced and it will have an increased visibility in the research and development sector by contributing to the creation of informed public policy on issues related to the media.
  • Investment and Economic Prosperity Committee/Finance Committee (Municipality):It is important that we (the library) express to them the importance and value of digital media literacy in relation to economic growth on a local and national level. The Canadian Internet Registration Authority survey on stakeholders Interest in the Internet states that the internet enables innovation, generates job opportunities and enhances productivity and competition. Marta Morgan, Assistant Deputy Minister for Strategic Planning in industry Canada (2011) suggests that digital workforce skills are a key component to digital literacy. The public library can facilitate the process of digital literacy education with areas focused on digital skills for the workplace and therefore equip future leaders and workers in Canada with necessary skills in digital interpretation and creation (The Internet and Canada’s Future: Opportunities and Challenges, 2011, CIRA)
  • Strategic Priorities and Policy Committee (London Municipality): The public library in partnership with MediaSmarts is a valid strategic move for city council to support as it has been noted that Canada has fallen behind a number of other countries in the development of a digital economy. By doing so, the committee will be a significant force and voice for improving the quality of local residents’ lives, giving them better opportunities to participate in the digital environment. City council should be striving to guarantee that citizens will benefit from the digital economy and derive new opportunities for employment, innovation, creative expression and social inclusion. This partnership will position the committee as a government arm that cares about the future of youth’s practices online and future in digital media, as an active Canadian citizen (Digital Literacy in Canada: From Inclusion to Transformation, 2010, Media Awareness Network)
  • Child Care Advisory Committee (London Municipality):It has been revealed in the report “Canada’s Children in a Wired World: The Parents’ View” published by Industry Canada that the majority of parents think that the internet is the way of the future and that children need to be educated about safe and responsible internet use. Parents believe that a collaborative approach towards managing the internet is the route to take and public libraries, schools, internet service providers, government and community institutions should be involved.Print literacy is no longer enough to ensure that Canada’s children and youth are growing up with the ability to critically engage with information and this partnership will help parents feel secure that their children are being educated in digital media literacy.  
  • Digital Media Literacy, Advocacy and Libraries

    1. 1. MEDIA LITERACYBy Ashley D’Andrea, Diane Huynh and Julie Creaser
    2. 2. SMART OBJECTIVEAfter a period of advocacy on the issues around mediaand digital literacy, by January 2013 (T), all librarians whoserve children and youth (S) within our organization will betrained or retrained (A) through MediaSmarts’ professionaldevelopment workshops (R) in the skills needed (M) tofoster media and digital literacy in youth by integratinglearned skills into existing programming or new programs,and when working one-on-one with children or youth in adigital environment.
    3. 3. ISSUE IDENTIFICATION7 hrs 38 minutes is the average amount of digital mediaconsumed per day by children 8-18 (Kaiser Foundation, 2010)Canadian parents say theirchildren are onlineeverywhere --schools,libraries, mobile phones,cafes, video gameconsoles – making it hardto regulate their onlineactivities anymore…--Young Canadians in aWired World, 2012Canadian tweens and teensfind school programs and theirparents challenging to dealwith on the issues of mediause, consumption andinteraction with others and feelmisunderstood and over-regulated…--Young Canadians in a WiredWorld, 2012Eight-years-old is when digital media interaction changes, childrenengage with it more and on their own terms (Joan Cooney Ganz Foundation, 2011)
    4. 4. WHY IS MEDIA LITERACY IMPORTANT? Media literacy embodies the critical skills of manyaspects of literacy in an online world from criticalthinking about images and texts to ethical and socialpractices – some examples include:Body Imagein MediaViolence inMediaDiversity inMediaCyberbullyingExploitation Privacy
    6. 6. THE LIBRARY’S ROLE IN MEDIA LITERACY Research shows that libraries already arerecognized as partners in developing literacy skillsfor conventional literacy and information literacythrough programs and training Libraries offer the media children consume – books,graphic novels, video games, Internet access,DVDs… Current research and current events support a callfor community actions and partnerships to addressbetter preparing children and youth for life andinteraction in the digital world
    7. 7. DECISION-MAKERS Chief Librarian/CEO Library Board Municipal Committees:- Financial Committee- Strategic Priorities &Policy Committee- Child Care Advisory Committee
    8. 8. WHAT ARE THE OBSTACLES? Aligning our goals, missions, andvalues of the library to those withMediaSmarts, and any corporatesponsorship linked with them. Parents and community groups whooppose corporate sponsorship onyouth programs. Being careful not to conflatetechnological access withunderstanding of its use & applicationin developing media/digital literacy. Organizational Bias: Viewing thelibrary as merely a repository forbooks, stereotypes of the library asbeing “outdated” and technologicallybehind. Space: Where will these workshops& training seminars for librarianstake place? Timing: How long will trainingworkshops take? Will there need tobe additional training for librarianswho are not “up to speed” oncurrent technologies? What will be the results of thispartnership, how will we measureits success?
    9. 9. APPROACHES – VALUES TO EMPHASIZE WITHDECISION MAKERSLibrary Chief Executive Officer and Board ofDirectors Supporting media literacy strengthens librarymission to enhance literacy and well-being of thecommunity Library as a leader in educating youth on criticaldigital literacy skills and as a gatekeeper toaccessing education on digital media literacy Staff benefits from professional development andtraining making them more qualified Implement new value-added services that helpbridge gap between information rich and poor
    10. 10. APPROACHES – VALUES TO EMPHASIZE WITHDECISION MAKERSInvestment and Economic ProsperityCommittee/Finance Committee (Municipal) Relationship between digital media and economicdevelopment Public library can educate through programmingthat emphasizes digital skills for the workplace Equip youth (future leaders and workers) of Canadawith necessary skills in creation and interpretationof media
    11. 11. APPROACHES – VALUES TO EMPHASIZE WITHDECISION MAKERSStrategic Priorities and Policy Committee(Municipal) Canada has fallen behind other countries in thedevelopment of digital literacy Council representing the community can dedicateresources and funding to guarantee that citizenswill benefit from the digital economy and derive newopportunities for employment, innovation, creativeexpression
    12. 12. APPROACHES – VALUES TO EMPHASIZE WITHDECISION MAKERSChild Care Advisory Committee (Municipal) Parents believe the internet is the way of the futureand children need to be educated on safe andresponsible use Emphasis on collaborative approach with schools,public libraries, internet service providers, policeand government Print literacy is no longer sufficient in ensuringchildren and youth are growing up with the skills tocritically engage with information
    13. 13. CONCLUSION A vision for youth inthe 21st century. Advocating forPartnership: Abenefit to thecommunity & itsmembers. The role of thelibrary andinformationprofessional.
    14. 14. CITATIONSEnvironics Research Group. (2003). Canada’s Children in a Wired World: The Parents’ View.Ottawa.Media Awareness Network. (2010). Digital Literacy in Canada: From Inclusion toTransformation. Ottawa.The Canadian Internet Registration Authority. (2011). The Internet and Canada’s Future:Opportunities and Challenges. Ottawa.