October 29, 2007

20071029-03 Internet Librarian PL Track: Information Literacy in Public Libraries

- Adina Lerner (Santa Monica PL), Alan D’Souza (San Francisco PL), Carol Bean (BeanWorks)

Adina

“review the pew” – A Typology of Information and Communication Technology Users report
we’re not going to help the elite tech users, want to try for middle of the road users, but really want to help the 49% with “few tech assets”
have to know your community’s demographics
census.gov only gives you 2000 numbers, which may not reflect what’s going on now
need to know your local resources, too

locating students

– listen to your patron requests
– create a survey (they did a “computer classes questionnaire”
– ask patrons to submit ideas to a Suggestion Box

community outreach
– appeal to niche groups, such as parents wanting to help children with homework online (offer a class on homework help for parents)
– offer health-related searching class using your databases for older patrons

bringing new skills to old hands
can the 20% middle of the road users be tempted?
– managing files/folders
– digital camera skills – using free sources such as Flickr, Pixenate, Picnik, Snipshot, Slide
– they found that 49% of their users had digital cameras, even though they might not have computers at home
– eBay skills
– they’re not legally allowed to offer classes on ebay because of liability issues, but they found certified ebay university trainers to do the sessions in their labs
– internet security issues
– help them understand about not using IE, virus control

you have to acknowledge your limitations, both of your library and your patrons
– hard to do Second Life in 90 minutes and you may not have bandwidth
– lack of reliable access to computers both in library and at home due to limitation of space and funds
– lack of transportation or mobility of the patron – go to a senior center, etc.

at what point will information literacy become a basic skill, similar to reading a newspaper or a book, navigating a library catalog, or using an ATM?

presentation will be on slideshare (search on her name)

Alan – Non-English Classes at SFPL

The Foundation
– mission statement
– have to present staff who look and sound like our communities
– literature & signage should reflect welcoming atmosphere, not just the “No’s”
– strong collections for populations
– website is in two additional languages, chinese and spanish
– have an “ethnic services committee,” although they rely on the individual branches to do the programming
– book club in russian and spanish
– offer computer classes in chinese (cantonese and mandarin), japanese (don’t really offer these anymore), russian, and spanish
– keyboards not in the native languages (such as chinese) is an issue
– they have a class in chinese wikipedia
– partnered with the seniornet people for a 4-week course that takes seniors from turning on your computer, to managing folders, to managing email; now they are asking for how to upload photos
interestingly, attendance numbers across all languages are down, though

have a “book a librarian” program where patrons can schedule a consultation with them about anything at all
need staff interested in teaching these things

recruiting trainers
– staff & volunteers
– language fluency
– technology fluency
– enthusiasm

training the trainer
– InfoPeople
– SeniorNet (still use their lesson plans, even though they don’t partner with them anymore)
– Mentoring – main way they train trainers now
– File sharing – share handouts, lesson plans, etc. this way
– Feedback

The Numbers for 2006/2007
– 3752 classes taught
– 450 attendees for non-english classes were taught in 50 classes
– >45 is the average age of attendees
– had a 100-year old Chinese woman attend a class!

hurdles
– facilities – renovations, adding meeting rooms
– technology – trying to upgrade, adding wireless, trying to use laptops, but that means issues such as smaller screens, touchpads, etc.; IT locks down all of the computers, which is another problem
– patrons – skillset is very, very low; requires a lot of patience; hand-eye coordination issues
– time & money – go for a lot of grants

overall, though, people are very, very grateful for these services

Carol – Make the Connection: Technology Training for the Older Generation

what she’s learned in 6 years of creating training for this group
– physical effects of aging (cataracts and declined vision, arthritis, neural noise, increased sensitivity to cold, decreasing hearing, etc.)
– cognitive effects (increased distractability, neural noise, etc.)

solutions include adaptive technology (move the screen closer, get glasses for computers, use track mice)
– they set resolution of screens to 400×800 resolution
– adaptive training techniques

North County Regional Library’s approach – mousing tutorial
beginning computer classes (Getting Started Series)

mousing tutorial assumes nothing and is progressive
– includes instruction on common experience with a computer
– includes instruction on physical problems using a mouse
– and it’s *fun*

Getting Started Classes
– went from 4 to 5
– designed to get older adults comfortable on the computer
– owning a computer is not required
– web-based

Class 1 – mousing
Class 2 – the browser
Class 3 – web forms
Class 4 – sign them up for web-based email, send an email
Class 5 – how to read email, more about email

classes are small trainer intensive, don’t last more than an hour max because their eyes glaze over after that
offered in the morning, no longer than 3 days apart (after 48 hours, they’ll lose the information if they don’t use/build on it)

classes teach only what they need to know with step-by-step instructions
make sure steps and pages are numbered
handouts should use a large, easy-to-read font
trainers speak slowly, with clear enunciation, and use unambiguous terms
students are encouraged and validated frequently to boost their self-confidence

prospective students are interviewed by the trainers to be sure they belong in the classes; makes sure everyone is at the same level, too
if they are motivated, they can learn it

outcomes

– <5% drop out
- <3% retake the course
- <99% have positive responses/comments
many go on to take regular classes at the library

there will always be some that fall through the cracks no matter what you do

can see the mousing around tutorial in english at http://pbclibrary.org/mousing/

all class materials are at http://esnips.com/users/ncrlab in word format

how does it feel to be these people – http://grouper.com/

question: as part of your decision-making process or publicity efforts, is there an outreach component at all, not just on your sites and locations? do you network with other groups to publicize these services?
answer: Alan – language librarians put up flyers in the ethnic supermarkets, etc. but we struggle with this; have not yet done a session at a facility that isn’t ours

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