From the Public Library Association's, Public Libraries Online, written by Contributing Editor MIKAEL JACOBSEN, Learning Experiences Manager at Skokie (IL) Public Library.
Public libraries are approaching the digital divide using different strategies. Aside from providing access to computers and internet, the most common digital divide–bridging mechanism is group classes on technology. The public affirms this focus for libraries: 94 percent of Americans believe public libraries should “offer programs to teach people, including kids and senior citizens, how to use digital tools such as computers, smartphones and apps.
We know we should teach technology and most of us are, but are we doing it well? Skokie (IL) Public Library created three program assistant positions (each working twenty hours per week) during a staff realignment about four years ago (read more about this realignment). This position serves numerous purposes, one being a teacher’s assistant for technology classes. The most important part of being the teacher’s assistant is to observe patrons and step in to help when needed. In some cases, our program assistants have never seen the technology they are helping instruct in and are learning alongside patrons. Our amazing program assistants have observed and assisted in around three hundred technology classes led by roughly thirty instructors - they have seen it all...
Read the entire article here
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