[Libs-Or] ALA Wastes No Time – Our Work on Digital Literacy

Diedre Conkling diedre08 at gmail.com
Mon Jun 4 15:05:06 PDT 2012


ALA Wastes No Time - Our Work on Digital Literacy
Posted on May 31,
by Jacob Roberts <http://www.districtdispatch.org/author/jroberts/>

Since the *New York Times* article "Wasting Time is New Digital
posted on May 29, 2012, we've been getting a number of questions along the
lines of, "Hey, so is ALA working with the FCC on the digital literacy
corps?" We thought it a good idea to give a little primer on exactly what
ALA has been doing on digital literacy.

Our involvement actually started way back when the FCC was collecting
information to create the National Broadband Plan (NBP), the FCC plan which
deals with improving broadband Internet access throughout the United
States. We submitted
several public notices, including one asking questions about broadband
adoption. We also worked with the Social Science Research Council, which
was commissioned to research broadband
low-income communities, to put them in touch with libraries in their
target areas. The
a number of recommendations related to improving broadband adoption,
taking into consideration identified barriers of cost, availability,
relevancy, and digital literacy. One of the recommendations was to create a
digital literacy corps after the AmeriCorps model. To date, this has not
been pursued.

Since the release of the NBP, the ALA Office for Information Technology
Policy has stayed involved with both the National Telecommunications and
Information Administration (NITA) and the FCC as both agencies have begun
implementing recommendations made in the NBP. Among these were the creation
of the digitalliteracy.gov <http://www.digitalliteracy.gov/> portal last
spring and the launching of the Connect 2
Compete<http://www.connect2compete.org/>initiative last fall.

To the issue brought out in the *Times *article, ALA submitted
the FCC's Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) on a proposal
fund digital literacy training through libraries and schools using savings
realized from Lifeline program reforms. The FCC proposes to fund formal
digital literacy training at $50 million per year over four years. This
proceeding is ongoing, though the comment period is closed.

ALA continues to advocate for libraries in this proceeding, knowing that
libraries offer a formidable "triple
of assets to support learners in gaining the digital skills necessary to
thrive online.

Larra Clark and Marijke Visser

*Diedre Conkling**
Lincoln County Library District
P.O. Box 2027
Newport, OR 97365
Phone & Fax: 541-265-3066
Work email**: **diedre at lincolncolibrarydist.org*<diedre at lincolncolibrarydist.org>
Home email: **diedre08 at gmail.com* <diedre08 at gmail.com>

 "If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change
your attitude."--Maya Angelou
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