Written by Kara Ripley, Reference and BadgerLink Training Librarian
In June, I attended a couple sessions of the online Digital Literacy + Fake News Mini-Conference held by Library 2.0. Watch the recordings of the 14 presentations at http://www.library20.com/digital-literacy-recordings.
The ALA Digital Literacy Task Force defines Digital literacy as the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills.
As the internet becomes ubiquitous in our lives, digital literacy becomes more important. If an email from a prince telling me that I just inherited $10 million prompts me to quit my job, I’m going to have a bad time. Not only because I fell for a scam, but also because most jobs these days require the same critical thinking skills that are developed when evaluating information. More central to American democratic values, being knowledgeable about what’s going on in the world empowers us to have agency in our communities and a voice in our society.
Students learn digital literacy skills in school but digital literacy doesn’t end when you graduate; we never stop learning, we just stop going to school for it. That’s where public libraries come in. As a space where lifelong learning occurs, public libraries continue the digital literacy work.
As I watched the recordings of the Digital Literacy Mini-Conference, I reflected on my work at DPI on BadgerLink. We provide access to licensed content to Wisconsin residents. I say that so frequently that I almost forget what that means. As information professionals, we know that not everything is free online. State funding (from the Universal Service Fund) buys resources that normally schools or libraries would have to purchase. We provide the powerful equalizing resources that connect Wisconsin residents to information on almost any topic. Does it get better than that?
In addition to our resources, we’ve created supplemental materials for educators (both in the classroom and in the library). Check out our Research Guide, Evaluating A Resource Worksheet (From Step 2 Research of the BadgerLink Research Guide), and large collection of training materials.
Thank you for impact you make on your community. We hope you consider BadgerLink your partner in your digital literacy work. Please get in touch if you have any questions!