Training Programs and Resources
Teaching the public how to find, evaluate and use information effectively in order to obtain essential 21st century skills is a responsibility embraced by today’s libraries. These skills are essential if people are to use government information, programs and services successfully. One of the challenges associated with supporting E-Government services in libraries is developing the staff's skills to support citizens as they access the services. The socioeconomic and educational background of citizens in need of government services varies widely; thus the level of support library staff needs to provide also varies. In some situations, the primary need of citizens is learning how to use the computer to access services. In other situations, citizens need assistance in navigating to the correct website and interpreting the requirements of the service.
In order to support citizen access to E-Government services fully, libraries must consider the challenges associated with providing support for basic computer literacy instruction and locating government information and services. Below are some resources that can assist with both staff and user training.
Links to Computer Literacy Resources
Digital Literacy – Aspects of digital literacy from Wikipedia.
Online tutorials – Examples of freely available tutorials providing instructions on basic computer skills:
- Computer Basics Tutorials
- GCF Learnfree – Free online learning including multiples courses in computer skills. Created by the Goodwill Community Foundation Inc. (also in Spanish).
- Digital Learn – A collection of self-directed tutorials for end-users to increase their digital literacy. Created by the Public Library Association.
- Microsoft Digital Literacy – More intensive tutorial series covering computer basics, the Internet, and other computer fundamentals.
- DigitalLiteracy.gov – Includes categories for building basic digital literacy skills and other resources.
- Mouse Aerobics – Tutorial for learning basic mouse skills. (also in Spanish)
- Mousing Around – Resource to help beginning computer users become familiar with using a mouse. (also in Spanish)
- Typing Club – Free touch typing tutorial with no ads.
- Sense-Lang.org Keyboard Tutorial and Typing Test – Free typing lessons.
- Internet 101: Introduction to the internet for beginners from GCFLearnfree.org.
- Email 101– Basic instruction on the anatomy and etiquette of using email by GCF Learnfree.org.
- Review of free email services – Reviews and tips for using over 15 free email services.
- Microsoft Office Training – Tutorials and training materials from Microsoft for Office 2007, 2010, 2013 and Mac 2011.
- Everyone On – Search tool to find free local computer training and related resources.
- Educator Resources
- Find Educator Tools - Search for resources by skill, topic, or keyword from DigitalLiteracy.org.
- Educator’s Resource – Downloadable curriculum guide to assist in using GCFLearnfree.org computer lessons.
- Digital Learn to help others – Online community to share ideas, best practices, and resources related to helping people attain new digital literacy skills.
- Digital Literacy Instructor Resources from Microsoft including Microsoft Digital Literacy Curriculum Packages (requires account). Curriculums are available for various versions of Windows operating systems.
- Edge Initiative – Management and assessment toolkit that provides libraries benchmarks including Digital literacy and resources for public access technology services.
Examples of Public Library Computer Literacy Programs
- Cuyahoga County Public Library (OH) http://www.cuyahogalibrary.org/Events/Technology-Training.aspx
- Hennepin County Library (MN) http://www.hclib.org/pub/events/classes.cfm
- Holmes Public Library (MA) http://holmespubliclibrary.org/AdultsComputer.html
- Louisville Free Public Library (KY) http://www.lfpl.org/class-descriptions.htm
- Monroe County Library System (MI) http://monroe.lib.mi.us/computer_classes/class_descriptions.htm
- Orange County Library System (FL) http://www.ocls.info/programs/computerclasses/default.asp
- Anythink Rangeview Library District (CO) http://www.anythinklibraries.org/calendar-filter?location=All&type=45&age=All
- Skokie Public Library (IL) http://www.skokie.lib.il.us/s_programs/pr_computer/index.asp
Government Information Training Opportunities and Resources:
- Lib2Gov – Information and resources for libraries to better meet the E-Government needs of their users. Hosted by the Information Policy & Access Center at the University of Maryland and the American Library Association.
- Federal Depository Library Program Events – Information about Interagency Depository Seminars and Depository Library Council Meetings, which provide continuing education opportunities for those interested in government information.
- Federal Depository Library Directory – Locate a government information specialist in your state.
- Get Me Started: Government Information Basics – A self-paced learning session available through Minitex covers government information reference interview techniques and basic websites to start with in answering government related questions.
- GODORT’s State and Local Documents Taskforce – A wiki includes links to projects and the work of the Taskforce.
- Government Information Clearinghouse & Handout Exchange – Tutorials and handouts related to specific topics, government information products, and managing government information collections.
- Government Information in the 21st Century – A continuing education program to train reference and public services librarians and library workers in the use of government information.
- Government Information Online Ask a Librarian – Live chat or email government information librarians.