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)


“review the pew” — A Typol­ogy of Infor­ma­tion and Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Tech­nol­ogy Users report
we’re not going to help the élite 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!

– 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 coör­di­na­tion 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 400x800 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


– <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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