ALA Task Force releases digital literacy recommendations

For Immediate Release
Tue, 06/18/2013

Contact:

Jazzy Wright
Press Officer
Washington Office
202-628-8410
jwright@alawash.org

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The American Library Association’s (ALA) Digital Literacy Task Force recently released its recommendations to advance and sustain library engagement in digital literacy initiatives nationwide. These conclusions and recommendations include comments from several public programs held at ALA conferences, as well as two online virtual public programs and task force meetings that included observers from different stakeholder groups.

Libraries of all types – school, academic and public – play a vital role in ensuring all people have the skills and abilities to succeed in the Digital Age. The Task Force’s recommendations build on the January 2013 Task Force report “Digital Literacy, Libraries, and Public Policy” and constitute a call to action on the part of the ALA, library education programs, front-line librarians, various funding bodies and the diverse stakeholders who use and support library services.

The Task Force recommends that ALA have a member body that focuses on digital literacy and libraries. This group should consist of members with broad ALA representation. It would provide library leadership in digital literacy initiatives across and beyond the library community and track progress against these recommendations.

“Having a member group would provide a central place for ALA units to collaborate on digital literacy projects,” said Task Force Chair, Rosanne Cordell. “A permanent group could facilitate the sharing of resources and develop advocacy that speaks with a single library voice.”

Other recommendations focus on:

  • increasing investment in digital literacy;
  • developing and sustaining robust partnerships and collaborations;
  • strengthening and expanding research and assessment; and
  • increasing access to digital literacy programming;

Though the Task Force officially ended its work at the 2013 Midwinter Meeting, digital literacy remains an important focus for librarians in all types of libraries and remains a hot topic issue on the national level among government agencies and many policy groups. ALA will continue to stay abreast of issues and work on keeping the library voice part of the conversations.

Librarians are encouraged to join the launch of DigitalLearn.org at the 2013 Annual ALA Conference. DigitalLearn.org is an online hub for digital literacy that supports several of the Task Force’s recommendations and includes a collection of self-directed trainings for end-users to increase their skills and a community of practice for digital literacy trainers to share tools, best practices and more.

Panelists will discuss how they are planning to leverage this tool in their organization and share ways librarians can get more involved in the project. The program will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 30 at the McCormick Convention Center Room N139.

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About the American Library Association

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 58,000 members in academic, public, school, government, and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.

American Library Association