Digital Literacy – Library As Classroom

April 24, 2017

The more I work in libraries and progress through library school, I realize that technology programs and offerings are as important to adults as storytime is for children. Many adults may not have had access to technology related education in the school system, because it wasn’t available or because technology hadn’t advanced to that point when they were in school. As stated in the Kenney article – “So what do people want from us? They want help doing things, rather than finding things” (Kenney, 2015). He also states that people don’t merely want to be referred to a class or a resource, which I agree with to some extent, but disagree with on many others. Attending a class with a real life expert is extremely validating for some folks. As much as I would love to say that “Windows 10 For Dummies” can completely fix someone struggling with an upgrade from XP to Win10, I cannot confidently say that this is enough.

Libraries are poised in a unique position to offer free classroom experiences. At my library I’m proud to say that you don’t even have to be a cardholder – much less a cardholder at our library. This, in my opinion, is how it should be. Digital literacy is (or will be) as important as being able to read or write. Maybe that’s a grand statement, but I believe it to be true. We are becoming more entrenched in the digital world than ever before, and there is no going back.


This video is very cut and dry but I think it gives a great definition of digital literacy. “We need to address both digital insiders and digital outsiders” (Nygren, 2014). Digital literacy is what libraries need to be teaching, and addressing both the patron who wants to learn web design and the patron who needs to learn how to use a keyboard and mouse are equally valid. We are equipped to help people and I think it is crucial that libraries step up to the plate and fill in the gaps that traditional K-12 education (which we can’t assume everyone has had) has left.


Kenney, B. (2015). Where Reference Fits in the Modern Library.

Nygren, Å. (2014). The public library as a community hub for connected learning.

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