The following full text article appears in the latest issue of Communications in Information Literacy.
Robert Gordon University
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Communications in Information Literacy
Vol. 10 No. 1 (2016)
This paper examines the extent to which public librarians are successfully prepared to engage the community in digital literacy and inclusion. A qualitative, multiple case study research design was chosen, using an analysis of policy documents and existing training programs offered by the libraries together with semistructured interviews with public librarians and library management. This was followed by an analysis of Masters in Library & Information Science programs.
The majority of public librarians felt that information technology skills and transferable skills were perceived to be equally important. However most of the public librarians identified quite a few gaps between what they learned in their library program and how it translated into their working environment. They also expressed a great interest and need for additional on-going technical training and development to promote digital literacy and to become proficient in understanding the needs of the community. Gaps in MLIS programs were identified around the areas of e-Books, basic PC trouble shooting, social media and communication skills. This study concludes with several recommendations for public libraries and for MLIS programs to foster digital literacy and inclusion.
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