CAPTURING THE CONTEXT OF DIGITAL LITERACY

A CASE STUDY OF ILLINOIS PUBLIC LIBRARIES IN UNDERSERVED COMMUNITIES

The brief

Libraries are really important. They fill a lot of social and service roles, like supporting education and life-long learning, providing critical information access for job hunting and government services, and they even act as place of gathering for community activities and democratic discourse. Increasingly, roles like these are related to the acquisition, sharing, evaluation and creation of information through digital tools like computers and the internet.

So what exactly is the role of the public library in fostering digital literacy?

More specifically, what does this role look like in Illinois public libraries that aren't located in Chicagoland? Especially the ones that serve socially excluded populations that are arguably most in need of services and empowerment? What are the emergent best practices and challenges these libraries face?

My task was to explore these questions by visiting many libraries all around the state. I spoke to librarians, pored over literature and did my best to assemble a compelling series of stories and case studies.

The Paper

The Talk

The Presentation