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The Role of the Library in a Digital World

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The Role of the Library in a Digital World

  1. The Role of the Library in a Digital World Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Bobbi Newman @librarianbyday
  2. The 21st century is when everything changes. And we have to be ready. -Captain Jack Harkness, Torchwood
  3. The future is here it is just not evenly distributed – William Gibson
  4. The Digital Divide
  5. 100 million Americans do not have home broadband access
  6. Who Doesn’t Have Access? • less than 33% of the poorest Americans have home broadband while over 90% of the richest have high-speed internet access at home • less than 50% of African Americans • less than 50% Latinos • less than 50% of the elderly • less than 50% of rural populations
  7. Broadband access for all is essential to meeting the information needs of communities in a democracy. Without it, we’ll end up with a new category of second-class citizens. -Alberto Ibargüen, President, CEO Knight Foundation
  8. Not every member must contribute, but all must believe they are free to contribute and that what they contribute will be appropriately valued. -Henry Jenkins
  9. Why Does it Matter? • more than 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 can save more than $7,000 a year.
  10. In 64.5% of communities the public library is the only free provider of public access to a computer and the internet
  11. 77 million Americans used a public library to access the Internet In 2009
  12. Connection Opportunity Education Employment Civic Engagement
  13. The New Literacies
  14. It is no longer enough simply to read and write. - Ernest Boyer, President, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching: Former U.S. Commissioner of Education
  15. The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. - Alvin Toffler
  16. Digital Literacy is the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills. -ALA Digital Literacy Taskforce (2011)
  17. A Digitally Literate Person - • Possesses the variety of skills – technical and cognitive – required to find, understand, evaluate, create, and communicate digital information in a wide variety of formats; • Is able to use diverse technologies appropriately and effectively to retrieve information, interpret results, and judge the quality of that information; • Understands the relationship between technology, life-long learning, personal privacy, and stewardship of information; • Uses these skills and the appropriate technology to communicate and collaborate with peers, colleagues, family, and on occasion, the general public; • Uses these skills to actively participate in civic society and contribute to a vibrant, informed, and engaged community. – -ALA Digital Literacy Taskforce (2011)
  18. We are exposed to more mediated messages in one day than our great-grandparents were exposed to in a year -Center for Media Literacy
  19. Rheingold’s Five Literacies • Attention • Participation • Collaboration • “Crap detection” • Network smarts
  20. 21st Century Skills Framework – Adapted for Libraries and Museums by Institute of Museum and Library Services
  21. Learning And Innovation Skills • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving • Creativity and Innovation • Communication and Collaboration • Visual Literacy • Scientific and Numerical Literacy • Cross-Disciplinary Thinking • Basic Literacy
  22. Information, Media, And Technology Skills • Information Literacy • Media Literacy • Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) Literacy
  23. Life And Career Skills • Flexibility and Adaptability • Initiative and Self-Direction • Social and Cross-Cultural Skills • Productivity and Accountability • Leadership and Responsibility
  24. 21st Century Themes • Global Awareness • Financial, Economic, Business, and Entrepreneurial Literacy • Civic Literacy • Health Literacy • Environmental Literacy
  25. Transliteracy the ability to read, write and interact across a range of platforms, tools and media from signing and orality through handwriting, print, TV, radio and film, to digital social networks.
  26. Privacy
  27. What To Do?
  28. Stop looking for your lost keys under the lamp post just because that is where it is easiest to see. It is not where you are most likely to find them.
  29. Start Learning
  30. Assess What You Don’t Know
  31. Get a Gadget Garage
  32. Fail. Fail Again.
  33. IMLS 21st Century Skills Assessment • Vision • Alignment of all departments • Infrastructure • Partner • Progress •
  34. Get Connected
  35. 23 Things
  36. If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less. -General Eric. Shinseki
  37. Great. So How?
  38. Accept that there is no end. This is the New Normal.
  39. Managing Personal Change • Learn as you breathe. • Learn only what is required to accomplish the task before you. • Don’t be afraid of forgetting. • Don’t clutch old technologies when you should be tossing them aside. • Don’t blindly embrace the new. • Continually reassess your assessments. • Look back. • Look forward. • Be grateful. -Roy Tennant
  40. Suggested Reading • Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath • The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg • Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success by Kerry Patterson et al
  41. Questions?
  42. References • ALA supports FCC proposal to fund digital literacy training through public libraries. (2012, April 3).District Dispatch. Retrieved from • Aspen Institute to Advance Recommendations of the Knight Commission. (2010, May 18).Knight Foundation. Retrieved from • Becker, S., Crandall, M. D., Fisher, K. E., Kinney, B., Landry, C., & Rocha, A. (2010). Opportunity for American Library Association. (2011). The state of America's libraries: A report from the American Library Association. Chicago, IL: American Library Association. Retrieved from • 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 • Hoffman, J., Bertot, J. C., Davis, D. M., & Clark, L. (2011). Libraries connect communities: public library funding & technology access study 2010-2011. Chicago: American Library Association. Retrieved from • Institute of Museum and Library Services (2009). Museums, Libraries, and 21st Century Skills (IMLS-2009-NAI-01). Washington, D.C. Retrieved from • Jenkins, H., Clinton, K., Purushotma, R., Robison, A., & Weigel, M. (2006). Confronting the challenges of participatory culture: Media education for the 21st century. Retrieved from E807E1B0AE4E%7D/JENKINS_WHITE_PAPER.PDF • The Knight Commision on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy. (2009). Informing Communities: Sustaining Democracy in the Digital Age. Washington, DC: The Aspen Institute. • Lippincott, J. K. (2007). Student Content Creators: Convergence of Literacies. EDUCAUSE Review, 42(6), 16–17. • Rheingold, H. (2012). Net smart: How to thrive online. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. • Saveri, A., Rheingold, H., & Vian, K. (2005). Technologies of cooperation. Palo Alto CA. Retrieved from • Tennant, R. (2010, September 29). Managing Personal Change. Digital Libraries, Library Journal. Retrieved from • Thoman, E., Jolls, T., & Center for Media Literacy. (2008).Literacy for the 21st century: An overview and orientation guide to media literacy education. Santa Monica, CA: Center for Media Literacy. • Why Broadband Service in the U.S. Is So Awful. (2010).Scientific American. Retrieved from • 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.
  43. Bobbi Newman This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit

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