Libraries Bridging the Digital Divide


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Opening Keynote, presented for the Michigan State Library Beginning Workshop

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  • When citizens gain access to the internet they gain access to a multitude of new possibilities. Research by Pew shows that broadband users of all ages utilize the internet for a wide range of activities including: email, using search engines, seeking health information, following the news, buying products, making travel reservations or purchases, online banking, looking for religious information, rating products, services, or people, making charitable donations and downloading and listening to podcasts Government agencies are no longer issuing print forms. Banks are sending alerts and account balance information via text messages. Email notification of package deliveryHomeworkSearch for and Apply for jobsEducation Health and wellness, diet and nutrition informationFind a doctor Laws & regulationsGovernment formsContact information for a specific government official or agencyCommunity and civic engagement NewsPersonal financesPay billsWe are exposed to more mediated messages in one day than our great-grandparents were exposed to in a year-Center for Media LiteracyA respected Swiss scientist, Conrad Gessner, might have been the first to raise the alarm about the effects of information overload. In a landmark book, he described how the modern world overwhelmed people with data and that this overabundance was both "confusing and harmful" to the mind. The media now echo his concerns with reports on the unprecedented risks of living in an "always on" digital environment. It's worth noting that Gessner, for his part, never once used e-mail and was completely ignorant about computers. That's not because he was a technophobe but because he died in 1565. His warnings referred to the seemingly unmanageable flood of information unleashed by the printing press
  • Libraries Bridging the Digital Divide

    1. 1. LibrariesBridging theDigital Divide Library of MichiganOpening Keynote, Beginning Workshop Bobbi Newman @librarianbyday
    2. 2. What is the digital divide? Why does it matter? The role of Libraries
    3. 3. What is the digital divide?
    4. 4. What will close it?Access to the technology AND Skills to use it well
    5. 5. Technology
    6. 6. Who Doesn’t Have Access?one third of all Americans or 100 million Americans
    7. 7. Who Doesn’t Have Access• less than 33% poorest Americans have adopted home broadband (over 90% of the richest Americans have high-speed internet access at home)• less than 50% of African Americans have home broadband access• less than 50% Latinos have home broadband access• less than 50% of the elderly have home broadband access• less than 50% of rural populations have home broadband access -Genachowski, 2011
    8. 8. Zickuhr, 2012
    9. 9. Digital Literacy
    10. 10. Digital Literacy is the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, andcommunicate information requiring both cognitive and technical skills. ALA Digital Literacy Taskforce, 2012
    11. 11. Why Does It Matter?
    12. 12. Some Stats• Over 80% of Fortune 500 companies require online job applications (including major employers such as Wal-Mart, Target, Costco, and ExxonMobil)• students with a computer and broadband at home have 6 to 8 percentage higher GPA than similar student who don’t have home access to the Internet• Consumers with broadband at home have the potential to save more than $7,000 a year.- Genachowski, 2011
    13. 13. Connection Opportunity Education EmploymentCivic Engagement
    14. 14. Smith, 2010
    15. 15. Libraries provide a bridge across the digital divide
    16. 16. 77 million Americans or approximately 34% of thepopulation used a public library to access the internet In 2009
    17. 17. In 64.5% of communitiesthe public library is the only free provider of public access to a computer and the internet
    18. 18. ALA, 2012
    19. 19. Resources•• Connect to Compete• Digital Literacy Project - Atwater Library• Digital Literacy: Learning Resources | Idaho Commission for Libraries
    20. 20. References• ALA supports FCC proposal to fund digital literacy training through public libraries. (2012, April 3).District Dispatch. Retrieved from proposal-to-fund-digital-literacy-training-through-public-libraries/• Becker, S., Crandall, M. D., Fisher, K. E., Kinney, B., Landry, C., & Rocha, A. (2010). Opportunity for American Library Association. (2011). The state of Americas libraries: A report from the American Library Association. Chicago, IL: American Library Association. Retrieved from braries_report_2011.pdf• All: How the American Public Benefits from Internet Access at U.S. Libraries (IMLS-2010-RES-01). Washington, DC: Institute of Museum and Library Services.• DiMaggio, P., & Hargittai, E. (2001). From the ‘digital divide’ to ‘digital inequality’: Studying internet use as penetration increases. Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University: Center for the Arts and Cultural Policy Studies.• Federal Communications Commission. (2010). Connecting America: The National Broadband Plan. Washington, D.C: Federal Communications Commission.• Genachowski, J. (2011, November). FCC & “Connect to Compete” tackle barriers to broadband adoption, Face Sheet for Chairman Genachowski Remarks on Broadband Adoption, Speech presented in Washington, D.C. Retrieved from• Smith, A. (2010). Home broadband 2010. Washington, D.C: Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.• Zickuhr, K. (2010). Generations 2010. Washington, D.C: Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project.• Zickuhr, K., & Smith, A. (2012). Digital differences. Washington, D.C: Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project.
    21. 21. Questions? Bobbi Newman