PLA Digital Literacy Workshop Incentive, supported by AT&T

PLA Digital Literacy Workshop Training Incentive, supported by AT&T banner

Application Guidelines

INTRODUCTION

Basic computer skills are essential to complete everyday tasks. Community members who lack these skills, internet access and or devices rely on public libraries to help them break through the digital divide.

PLA developed DigitalLearn to offer free tutorials and workshop materials for libraries to teach basic digital skills.

In collaboration with AT&T, PLA developed 8 new training materials to teach in-demand basic computer skills. AT&T is supporting incentive opportunities to enable libraries to successfully share these new DigitalLearn resources with their communities.

Due to the success of the 2022–2023 Digital Literacy Workshop Incentive, supported by AT&T, AT&T and PLA are pleased to offer a second expanded incentive opportunity for public libraries in 2023 which will again focus on the 8 core basic skilling subjects.

Additionally, a separate incentive has been created to support libraries in teaching workshops using the DigitalLearn ACP Basics workshop materials, also created in collaboration with AT&T. Find out more about this incentive here.

PLA Digital Literacy Workshop Incentive, supported by AT&T is designed to support library adoption of the PLA DigitalLearn training materials developed with support from AT&T. These materials are freely available at training.digitallearn.org. The deadline has been extended and applications will now be accepted until June 11, 2023, 11:59 PM Central.

POTENTIAL USES OF THE INCENTIVE

Funds awarded are to be used to support the facilitation of one or more of the 8 approved DigitalLearn basic computer skilling workshops and to promote these AT&T co-created digital literacy courses.

This opportunity requires the facilitation of in-person or online workshops using the DigitalLearn.org curriculum.

Workshop topics are limited to:

Examples of how incentive funds may be used:

  • Hire trainers to conduct workshops.
  • Print handouts, certificates, and other learner materials for in-person trainings.
  • Purchase project supplies (e.g., paper, post-its, printing, etc.).
  • Purchase non-capital equipment to be used for training (e.g., computer and/or projector, smart board, tablets to be used for trainings).
  • Advertise workshops and PLA and AT&T’s digital literacy resources. Examples include outdoor banner, Facebook ads, Instagram ads, Google ads, radio ads, newspaper ads, billboards, and locally produced promotional videos.
  • Purchase and distribute materials to promote DigitalLearn and your library’s digital skills support. Examples include bookmarks, paper notebooks, flash drives, headphones, tee shirts, socks, calendars, water bottles, tote bags etc.
  • Items to be used as a giveaway or free drawing. Examples include tablet, gift card or any of the items listed in the bullet above.
  • Translate training materials into languages other English or Spanish.
  • Rent a space for training (if needed and not held in a library).
  • Provide snacks for attendees at in-person trainings.
  • Provide transportation for attendees.
  • Provide childcare for attendees.
  • Hire translators or interpreters.
  • Purchase PPE such as masks, hand and equipment sanitizer for in-person training.
  • NOTE: funds cannot be used for e-rate eligible expenses, such as broadband connections and maintenance. Please contact your state e-rate coordinator if you have detailed questions.

APPLICATION INFORMATION

Eligibility

  • Open to all public libraries in the United States and Washington, D.C.
  • Only complete and eligible applications that are received by June 11, 2023, at 11:59 PM Central will be reviewed.
  • NOTE: any public libraries receiving ACP outreach grants from the Federal Communications Commission should ensure compliance prior to applying for this incentive.

Incentive Amounts and Requirements

Libraries can apply for an incentive of $6000. There is a total funding pool of $1.2 million. Libraries selected to receive an incentive must meet the requirements outlined below.

Programming Requirements:

Administrative and Promotional Requirements:

  • Complete and submit the MOU agreement, W9 and related forms by July 14, 2023.
  • Participate in at least two related educational webinars.
  • Use training materials from the PLA and AT&T digital literacy resources, available at training.digitallearn.org.
  • Use Project Outcome based surveys to collect learner outcomes at the end of each workshop.
  • Join the ALA Connect Community to receive project updates and communicate with fellow awardees.
  • Share workshop schedule in advance with PLA and AT&T.
  • In regions, where AT&T employee volunteers are available, participating libraries are encouraged to engage AT&T employee volunteers in supporting the workshops when possible. Example roles for participating/volunteering AT&T employees may include: providing welcome remarks to attendees; serving as training “floaters” helping to answer learner questions; general event set-up/breakdown/support.  In addition,
  • In many regions AT&T will use help promote workshops using a toolkit provided by PLA. In these regions, participating libraries will comply with PLA and AT&T’s promotional requirements:
    • Develop a promotional plan to recruit digital learners from underserved and/or under-resourced groups.
    • Announce the award in a press release, newsletter and/or appropriate communication to community and stakeholders.
    • Use approved logos and/or donor acknowledgement statement when library’s programs are promoted or presented.
  • Promote the new PLA and AT&T digital literacy resources available at DigitalLearn.org, with required acknowledgement of donors, to the library’s community.
  • Submit final report to PLA by January 12, 2024.

Application Process

The deadline has been extended and applications will now be accepted for PLA Digital Literacy Workshop Incentives until June 11, 2023. To be considered, your library’s application must be submitted through ALA’s online grant administration system. For more information about using our system, please visit ALA’s How to Apply webpage.

You may preview the PLA Digital Literacy Workshop Incentive application (PDF) before beginning your submission.

The online application requires contact information for the project lead and overview information about your library. You must also respond to narrative questions and confirm your acceptance of the incentive requirements. All complete applications will be reviewed, and awardees selected by PLA staff and member volunteers.

Review Criteria

Applications will be reviewed based on how effectively the criteria below have been addressed.

  • Community need and library need for digital literacy programing.
  • Overview of the library and the community it serves, including demographics, dynamics, and key issues or challenges it faces in relation to digital literacy.
  • Clear indication of which training materials will be used.
  • Demonstrates how the library will engage their local community in attending digital literacy programming. Such as a targeted marketing and outreach plan for meeting the required attendee numbers.
  • Identification of possible partner organization.
  • Presents a compelling case for how this grant will advance the library’s efforts in reaching under-represented groups, historically marginalized audiences, or members of your community that your library has not reached previously.

Review the FAQ for more information.

REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

Participating libraries will be required to submit one brief report to PLA. PLA will provide a reporting template; a brief overview of reporting requirements is below. An evaluator will be engaged as part of this program, and you may be asked to participate in a focus group or interview about your experience.

Report to PLA, due January 12, 2024

  • Which DigitalLearn Training materials did you use?
  • Date and title of each workshop, language workshop was conducted in and attendance numbers.
  • Number of people who attended all workshops in total. (You may count an individual more than once if they attended more than one workshop.)
  • Where did your workshops take place?
  • What types of equipment and materials were purchased for the workshops?
  • What types of incentives did you provide for patrons?
  • What populations did your workshops serve?
  • Did you work with a community partner?
  • Who facilitated your workshops?
  • How were workshop participants recruited?
  • If you engaged with an AT&T employee, how did they support your workshops?
  • On average, how much time did your facilitators spend preparing for a workshop?
  • Did you find the training materials easy to use and adapt?
  • Did you find the training materials relevant to the needs of your patrons?
  • In your opinion did your workshops improve digital literacy for those who attended?
  • What went well with your DigitalLearn in-person workshops?
  • What challenges did you face in implementing DigitalLearn workshops?
  • What changes should DigitalLearn make to better meet your community’s digital literacy needs?
  • What Digital Literacy topics are the most in demand in your community?
  • How will your library use DigitalLearn in the future?
  • Open ended “Anything Else We Should Know?”
  • Optional: Y/N I am interested in building awareness of these resources by sharing my story with the media and through other promotional opportunities.

Review the FAQ for more information.

HIGHLEVEL TIMELINE

May 12–June 11: Applications accepted
TBA: Application Office Hours Webinar
June 2–16: Application review
Week of June 19: Applicant libraries notified of status
June 22–27: ALA Annual Conference featuring a DigitalLearn session
July 14: Deadline to accept and submit MOU and W9 forms
August 4 -September 8: All incentive payments issued to participating libraries
July and August (dates TBA):

Onboarding Webinars:

  • DigitalLearn Workshop Facilitation
  • Using Project Outcome for Survey Collection
  • Workshop Promotion and Partnerships
July–December 31:

Library Workshops conducted

(Libraries can begin hosting workshops before payment is received or after)

January 12, 2024: Final Library Report due to PLA

Review the FAQ for more information.