Introducing Mozilla’s Web Literacy Leaders

An-Me Chung
Jun 15, 2017 · 7 min read

What is the Web Literacy Leaders Program?

Mozilla’s Web Literacy Leaders Program is a six-month, cohort-based program designed to build a cadre of learners, teachers, and leaders who become advocates of an open and healthy internet by teaching others core web literacy skills. The cohort will participate in Mozilla-led web literacy trainings and train-the-trainer sessions, deliver training to others, learn to work in the open, participate in the larger Mozilla community, and become web literacy leaders in their professional fields and communities.

Why does Web Literacy Leadership Matter?

Web literacy leadership is a critical part of improving web access in a networked world. Leaders are those who build their own knowledge and expertise and share their learning with others. They connect with other leaders and support their peers with professional development around participatory, learner-centered, 21st Century learning. In addition to helping individuals improve their employment outcomes and access to resources, web literacy leaders are will bring critical skills to diverse audiences all over the world, and increase access and digital equity.

In partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the USO Transition Center for Innovation, meet our first cohort of Web Literacy Leaders from the public libraries and military personnel and families worlds and hear what they have to share based on their initial foray into working in the open!

Davis Erin Anderson is Community Manager at Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO). An SLA Rising Star and a 2012 Library Journal Mover & Shaker, Davis leads workshops on web literacy, digital fluency, and building community as an individual or as an organization. Along with Ray Pun, she is an editor of and author in Career Transitions for Librarians: Proven Strategies for Finding Work in Another Type of Library, published by Rowman Littlefield in 2016.

“[Learning more about open leadership] reinforced some of my thoughts around digital labor. It is good to see that digital labor is not the same thing as free labor. It is important that the time and expertise people contribute to projects are valued.” — Davis

Learn more about Davis and her goals as a Mozilla Web Literacy Leader by reading her blog “Kicking off the Mozilla Web Literacy Leaders Program”

Matthew Kopel is a librarian with a deep background in scholarly publishing and communications. He is currently a Program Manager at the National Digital Inclusion Alliance working on digital inclusion, open access, and making sure all library professionals have the tools they need to build empowered and savvy patron communities.

“Working in the open is a transition in working and communication styles. So often, we see things as — you have to check every single box or you won’t be successful. But not every single aspect of working in the open will apply to every project — it’s going through and thinking about how things might apply to a project that is valuable.” — Matt

To learn more about Matt’s goals for his Web Literacy Leaders project, click here to read his blog “Toward a Digital Inclusion Academy”

Kelly Hudson was active duty Army for four years, and then served in the Navy Reserve for 22 years, retiring in 2012. In 2015, Kelly completed her doctorate degree and started her own business. The experience she gained from the military as well as careers at universities helps her now as she counsels transitioning military, veterans, and their families in her job as Education Program Manager with the USO Transition Center of Innovation in Lakewood.

“Working in the open has been an a-ha moment for me. It is helping me think through what I need to do to motivate and inspire others to participate in web literacy skills training.” — Kelly

Learn more about Kelly and her goals as a Mozilla Web Literacy Leader at her blog “Web Literacy Leaders — My Introduction to Openness”

Sherry Lehane has been working in adult education for over 20 years teaching English as a Second Language and computer skills to adult immigrants. Most of my work has been through a community based organization , RIFLI, based in public libraries throughout Rhode Island. In recent years, my work has shifted to professional development supporting adult ed. practitioners in integrating technology in their practice.

“I could not previously articulate what internet health was, and I appreciate Mozilla’s Internet Health Report and in particular how privacy fits in. As a leader, I can see what I can contribute big or small. ” — Sherry

Learn more about Sherry, her goals as a Mozilla Web Literacy Leader and how she would describe “Open” in ten seconds at her blog “Going Up?”

Paolo Balboa who was born in New Zealand and raised in Ohio wrote and edited for the Cincinnati Enquirer and The American Scholar before transitioning into his current position as a curriculum developer and teacher at the Cleveland Public Library. His work emphasizes computer, web, and digital literacy skills, and the differences between those tracks.

“This is one of the first leadership projects I’ve taken upon, and I’m learning that it is important to get a better experience and project outcome by inviting other voices in and sharing space.” — Paolo

Learn more about Paolo and his goals as a Mozilla Web Literacy Leader at his blog, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Web Literacy”

Joanna Milner has been digging up information and good reads for Multnomah County Library patrons for nearly 20 years. Her official title is Library Assistant, but she periodically campaigns to change that to BadAss Reference MF. She has presented workshops on library staff training to Oregon Library Association, Washington Library Association, and Oregon Association of School Libraries. In her spare time she reads, naps, snuggles cats, and organizes live parade viewings.

“So much of Open Leadership is about letting go of control. If you want to get a lot of input and diverse voices, you have to be willing to let go of knowing exactly what the end product is going to be. Instead, it’s about involving participants, empowering them to take on leadership roles and documenting everything so that the work can be continued.” — Joanna

Learn more about Joanna and her goals as a Mozilla Web Literacy Leader at her blog, “Web Literacy, Libraries, & the room to fail.”

Liza Dyer has been involved in the nonprofit and public sectors for more than 15 years. She is currently a Program Coordinator in the Volunteer Services office at Multnomah County Library, a public library system in Portland, Oregon which welcomes over 2,000 community members as volunteers each year. Liza spends her days creating better access to volunteer experiences, connecting people with information, and digging into the volunteer database. Outside of work, Liza can be found knitting, reading, exploring, and volunteering. She is proud to be an AmeriCorps alum and Certified in Volunteer Administration (CVA).

“It struck me that working in the open is how things should be — it is important to involve different voices.” — Liza

Learn more about Liza and her goals as a Mozilla Web Literacy Leader at her blog, “On becoming a Mozilla Web Literacy Leader”

Nic Weber is an assistant professor at the University of Washington’s iSchool and the Associate Technical Director of the Qualitative Data Repository, hosted by the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. He focuses on sustainability from a systems-thinking perspective and is broadly interested in the idea of commons governance, and the use of public sector information (open data) for social change. He is an Information Scientist by training, and has skills in data curation, digital preservation, and systems analysis & design.

Previously I did some work building cyber-infrastructure for environmental scientists, and now I can see that was an introduction to an open science, open source world, whereas in a Phd program it is more of a choice. I am inspired to share Open Leadership 101 with my colleagues.

We look forward to sharing more updates with everyone as the Mozilla Web Literacy Leaders embark on their journeys.

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