One of the articles that caught me off guard was Library Emojis. When I started to read it, I thought it was written maybe one or two years ago. I didn’t realize that it was from five years ago. I have started to see more emojis appear in emails, posters, and even our covid safety signs. As Libraries push forwards and create more online presences on youtube, instagram, facebook, tiktok, and other social medias, use of emojis will become more and more relevant in how we participate with our community. I know that I talk a lot about discord but it’s more due to the fact that people can create their own emojis. I don’t see a future where Facebook or Instagram will allow people to make their own emojis, but there is a certain amount of creativity and freedom in using available images, emojis, gifs, music in order to express oneself. A kind of freedom that I didn’t see that many years ago.
I talked about how there is a need for technology classes after the library can resume programming. While I believe that children and teens are more naturally open to new technologies, it’s important to teach adults and seniors not only how to be learn and use new technologies, but how to find connections in their daily lives.
“More than one-third of professional learners with lots of tech assets say they did all or most of their learning online, while about one-fifth with fewer options for online access say this.” (John B. Horrigan)
Traditional learning, such as book learning and classroom learning, has somewhat taken a backseat to independent and hybrid learning. When I did Tech Help back in “the day”, I tried to best explain to my many users that everything tech in a weird way connects back to itself. Those skills that you learn are applicable in other applications and websites. I often get the feedback that these new websites make it so difficult to navigate and understand. I try to explain that usually these companies and websites will try to make everything similar. I will go into a completely different website and ask patrons to navigate it after explaining some key terms and they usually will be surprised by how much they know already.
“Basic digital skills are not just something to be done in addition to teaching academic skills.” Instead, she said, “They are the gateway to all kinds of learning.” (Andrea Saenz, CPL’s First Deputy Commissioner)
If people are not used to technology in their everyday lives, it does become difficult to retrain all new information being taught. We can guide people to use our website, applications, and online resources. We have to learn what the community needs. If somebody is having issues with their bus schedule, maybe they have an app that they have access to. It’s the idea of being open to listening to your community, and learning. By teaching our patrons our resources, they develop skills that can translate to almost anything digital. There are many websites, communities, tools available online, it’s only a matter of time in helping a person their place. By expanding exposure to new technologies, such as 3D printers or virtual reality, we expand options. Even having passive tech, such as tablets that people can use can make all the difference. It opens up a world of thinking and exploring. Connections are made and new technologies can be seen as new tools ready to be used.
Digital Promise. (2016). Chicago Public Library: The Library as a Gateway to 21st Century Skills
Pew Internet & American Life (2016). Adults with tech-access tools are more likely to be lifelong learners and rely on the internet to pursue knowledge.
Stephens, M. (2016). Library Emoji.