Library Remixes of Mozilla’s Web Literacy Curriculum

As part of the Web Literacy Skills for Library Staff project funded by Institute of Museum and Library Services, library pilot sites are remixing Mozilla’s web literacy curriculum and training for library staff and patrons.

Here are a few highlights of what’s been accomplished by some library pilots thus far:

Anythink Libraries, a large public library system serving the residents of Adams County, Colorado featured their remix of the web literacy curriculum and training at Tech Fest 2017, a district wide staff training session in which about 130 library staff participated. At the Tech Fest, participants were given a “Guardians of the Galaxy” themed guidebook with different planets representing the various web literacy competencies such as “navigate”, “evaluate” and “search. ” Participants continued working on Thimble activities after the tech fest and/or explored new ones via the page of Thimble remixes Anythink created for the day. Click here for a livestreamed portion of Anythink’s Tech Fest 2017.

Central New York Library Resources Council (CLRC) provides training, support, and programs to rural libraries in four upstate New York counties. They tailored the web literacy curriculum and training to meet the needs of libraries with five or fewer staff members in rural libraries. What they discovered was an opportunity to address not only web literacy skills, but also basic computer skills. One trainer from CLRC stated that “being onsite in all those places gave me a chance to see what the real technological barriers were that people were facing. So the pilot, just in how we ended up structuring it, ended up providing this boon in relationships and opportunities for infrastructure investment and potential services for our organization to offer [small library systems].”

Cleveland Public Library, a large, urban library system that operates one main library in downtown Cleveland, Ohio and 28 branches throughout the city, has trained an initial group of 50 ambassador staff member — one staff member from each library location or department throughout their system, who will serve as ambassadors and be resources to other staff. The plan in 2017 is to train all 500 library staff on web literacy skills as part of a larger leadership and development training initiative. Library staff observed that taking part in Mozilla’s participatory learner-centered training and then leading their own web literacy training with others has changed their overall training approach. Staff are now creating more participatory, hands-on trainings around other professional development topics which has generated new enthusiasm for professional development across the library system. According to staff, the library profession tends toward being a “top down” and a “data dump,” but the new concept of being interactive made library staff excited.

Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO), a non-profit organization working to provide services, trainings, and support to over 250 libraries, archives, and information organizations across New York City and Westchester County. METRO conducted a series of three workshops, with several remixed activities and lesson in each, on web literacy in both its central location and at the headquarters of the Westchester Library System. They credit the web literacy trainings for sparking additional collaboration and coordination between sites. “…being able to bring folks from all three systems together and then running them through just really simple networking activities made it even more fun for them. They got to find out what’s happening in their systems, pick up ideas and tips from one another.” Because of this, METRO is now creating a community of excellence to sustain the ongoing connections and collaborations, and to continue to provide web literacy training — and soon digital credentials — to librarians throughout New York City.

Mozilla, with funding from the IMLS, just kicked off a second phase where these libraries are piloting web literacy badges. Stay tuned — as pilots continue their work, we look forward to sharing out more.