LIS 724.10 Blog Response to Prompt
I believe that the most challenging hurdle to overcome when incorporating digital literacy in the library environment is the access to technology. While the article focuses on the difficulties and challenges of this issue in school libraries, I also find it applicable to the public library setting. Technology is an ever changing landscape where a tool can be outdated the second you purchase it. In a perfect world, the library would be able to provide the community with access to all of the new up-and-coming tech tools to expand minds and aid in the quest for knowledge.
However, we all know that this cannot be the case. Strict budgets, an uneasy board and facility, and stubborn community can all be roadblocks in the expansion of digital literacy. The difficulty in obtaining more technology materials stems from who the authority is on deciding the importance of the specific tools. When thinking about digital literacy it is important to look forward and consider the impact new technologies will have in the future. Some may not see a 3-D printer as a necessity, yet a luxury to tinker with. However, these printers are popping up and being buzzed about on every media platform. They are being used a multitude of ways, from creating toys to inexpensive prosthetics. They are on the road to becoming a commonplace tool. Therefore, wouldn’t it be beneficial for the community to experience using one? While I believe so, a frugal director may not.
To obtain new technology, a strong case must be made to management. Be thorough. Are you proposing the purchase of more computers? Have prepared the average number of patrons that visit the library and the frequency of computer use recorded. Do you believe an audiovisual editing room would enrich your patrons? Find examples of this flourishing in other libraries and research the benefits of having one at a library.
Do you think a makerspace would be constantly used? Provided resources outlining the innovative creations that can be made there. When money is concerned, things are always up in the air. However, you can always offer to do fundraising to pay for tools you believe in or be creative in your approach if money is tight. Programs can be offered that teach patrons about fun and innovative sites for blogging, organizing, launching a store, etc. In any way possible, it is important to connect your patron to technology to continue facilitating digital literacy.