“Fifth-grade girl at computer behind protection shield” by All4Ed is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0
Libraries are continually finding ways to bridge the digital divide and decrease digital inequity in the communities they serve. With the addition of Northstar Digital Literacy Platform to our library system, we will be able to aid both staff and patrons in bridging the gap by providing our community access to learn the needed skills to excel in today’s digital world. Northstar provides digital literacy assessments as well as a curriculum to aid in improving digital proficiencies. The assessments cover essential computer skills for software such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and using other technologies like social media and email. Even though this may be geared towards ALSC’s upper age range, these can be taught in a classroom setting either in person or remotely for students 13 and up. At this time, Northstar is only available in English, but they are working on a Spanish version and other languages in the future.
Make-IT Place is an online digital makerspace where customers and library staff can access, create, and share maker- and tech-based curricula. It provides programs, projects, and training materials that have been either curated or created by Maryland librarians. With these resources, you can create programs, teach classes to students or library patrons, or learn something new yourself. This site is open to all, not just Maryland libraries or librarians.
Statewide Library Lending
Did you just get into podcasting and need a microphone? How about a green screen for your virtual story time? If your Maryland library system does not own these and you are in the state of Maryland, you can borrow both of these through their statewide library lending program. In addition to the AV equipment, there are NASA kits and virtual reality equipment. These are great resources to be able to share across the state.
All three of these programs were made available to our library system through grants from the IMLS Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) through the Maryland State Library.
This post addresses the following ALSC Core Competencies: I. Commitment to Client Group and III. Programming Skills.
Angelique Kopa is a member of the ALSC Children and Technology committee, and she works for a public library in Maryland in Collection Development.