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Emerging Technology Planning: Online Citizenship Class Tully Public Library Branch

on March 16, 2020

The U.S Symbols. Retrieved from https://www.cynthiarlopez.com/applying-for-citizenship/


I’m a volunteer at a San Jose Public library. Lately, many people came to my ESL class because they thought it is a citizenship class, which has been canceled for some reason. The students were disappointed and left the library. Some of them were very worried because they need to get prepared for their citizenship test very soon, and they need to practice. They begged for help, but I was busy with my ESL class.  I couldn’t do anything at that moment besides saying sorry and advising them to talk to the front desk. I later knew that the class would be canceled until the outbreak of the coronavirus is getting better. According to the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department, there are 114 confirmed cases, 48 hospitalized cases, two deaths in this county, and the number does not stop increasing. I felt bad. I wish I could give them more support. Another factor that motivates me to make this plan is the idea that Dr. Stephens (2020) presented in his lecture: “Librarians are tapped into user spaces and places online to interact, have presence and point the way. Adapting to change in a positive, forward thinking manner will also be important for libraries and information environments.” Therefore, I’m thinking about an online citizenship class, which can help the students to practice and get help if they ever need it.

Goals/Objectives for Technology / Service

  1. Assist community members who need to prepare for their citizenship test.
  2. Introduce community members to simple technology skills such as using the Internet, watch videos, writing comments to interact with library staff if they want. 
  3. Connect Community members so they can share their opinions and knowledge.
  4. Provide users with more updated resources to assist them in getting better practice and more confidence for their citizenship test. 
  5. Protect the community health during this outbreak of the novel coronavirus indirectly.
  6. Demonstrate the value of the library, both in-person and virtue aspects, through the resources. 

Target population

Immigrants/people who are eighteen years old or older, live in Santa Clara County, and need to take the citizenship test/interview are my target population. Or someone simply wants to learn about the programs. No restriction.

Action Brief Statement

For patrons:

I’m trying to convince library patrons that Online Citizenship class is helpful. They can get practice as well as assistance effectively so that they can prepare for their citizenship exam. Therefore, they should be confident in taking the class and erase their worries during the time that they cannot go to class in person. While taking this class, the patrons also improve their technology skills and will catch up with this digital age in some ways.  

For staff:

I’m trying to convince the library manager/staff that this program will help the library keep the patrons engaging with the library without coming to the class in person. The library wants to keep everyone, including library staff members and the patrons’ safety, by limiting the unnecessary physical contact during this outbreak of the coronavirus. Also, the library can still demonstrate its essential role by using the relevant program to serve its patrons during the critical time. 

Evidence and Resources to Support Technology / Service

Citizenship Resources Center. (n.d.). Study for the test. Retrieved from https://www.uscis.gov/citizenship/learners/study-test

Loring, A. (2017). Literacy in citizenship preparatory classes. Journal of Language, Identity, and Education16(3), 172–188. https://doi-org.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/10.1080/15348458.2017.1306377

Porto, M. (2016). Ecological and intercultural citizenship in the primary English as a foreign language (EFL) classroom: an online project in Argentina. Cambridge Journal of Education46(4), 395–415. https://doi-org.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/10.1080/0305764X.2015.1064094

Santa Clara County Library District. (2020). Citizenship Resources. Retrieved from https://sccld.org/citizenship-resources/   

Son, J.-E., Lee, S.-H., Cho, E.-Y., & Kim, H.-W. (2016). Examining online citizenship behaviours in social network sites: A social capital perspective. Behaviour & Information Technology35(9), 730–747. https://doi-org.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/10.1080/0144929X.2016.1143032

Tully Library (n.d.). Interacting with us online. Retrieved from https://www.sjlibrary.org/policies-procedures/technology-and-internet

U.S. Citizenship test: Free complete online training program 2020. Retrieved from https://uscitizenshipsupport.com/

Mission, Guidelines, and Policy related to Technology / Service

To help users obtain the best result and to not make the students confused, the online class is designed similarly to the in-person class. There are three groups in the in-person class. One group focuses on learning citizenship vocabulary, Civics, U.S History, and Government, and two other groups help students with their coming up citizenship interview (Mock Interview). The library will divide the recorded videos into three similar groups, so the users can navigate and follow easily. This online citizenship class will use the Technology and Internet and Behavior in the Library Policy, which already exists and may be any policy that the library manager or staff members will discuss later. 

Funding Considerations for this Technology / Service

There is no big fund required for this online class. The library doesn’t need to get any equipment or avenue for this online citizenship class. However, the library staff, who is in charge of the class, will have to record videos and answer questions posted by the students in time manners. The library volunteers can help with recording the video too, as long as they have proper English pronunciation and clear voice. Since the library already has Citizenship and Immigration Resources page, the library needs to create a section/link and put together the recorded videos, which contain five questions and their answers in each video. We can take advantage of the YouTube channel because many people are familiar with this format of media. 

Action Steps & Timeline

Hopefully, the library manager will approve this plan after it is proposed, and we can move on to the next step. If the manager is not ok with the project, it probably takes some more weeks to revise and get approved.

Assuming this plan is approved, this plan will be utilized next month, mid-April 2020. Library staff members will have four weeks to get trained, organize the webpage, and prepare materials/record videos for the class.  


  • March 16-March 30, 2020 is training time for library staff/volunteers, arrange the primary and assistant staff who are in charge of this class.
  • March 31-April 13, organize the webpage, record 
  • During the four weeks, while the library prepares for the online citizenship class, the library will also market the class to the public 
  • The online citizenship class will start on April 15th, 2020, and the class will be twice a week, every Wednesday and Friday. New materials will be posted on those days of the week around 5. Moreover, library staff will be answering questions or responding to students’ comments mostly from 5 PM-6 PM every Wednesday and Friday.  

Staffing Considerations for this Technology / Service

One library staff and one or two regular volunteers are good to run this class. Library staff should be a professional librarian, so they can be self-trained and work/train the volunteer(s) who is/are their assistances in two weeks. The librarian will be the primary staff in charge of this class. However, the trained volunteers can cover for the librarian if he/she is not available. They have to record and post two videos, which contains five questions and their answers each video, every week, one on Wednesday and one on Friday. There are 100 questions. Library staff or volunteers can record videos ahead of time and post them up every week.

Training for this Technology / Service

Training Image. Retrieved from https://www.genesisproject1.com/training/

Branch staff who is already familiar with the in-person citizenship class is in-charge of digitizing her/his class and train the regular volunteers, who will help out with this task. In two weeks, the library staff and volunteers will be able to produce videos, upload them on the library website, and earn knowledge to answer students’ questions about citizenship class or provide them useful resources so that they can find the answers for their problems and related issues.

Promotion & Marketing for this Technology / Service

The library can market this class on the library webpage, Facebook, flyers, posters, bulletin boards, and verbal announcements during opening hours. The library can also post information about this class in the local newspaper. Moreover, as always, encouraging patrons to pass on the information of this class to their families, friends, and acquaintances. Another way is having library staff members go to local church or community organizations to introduce the class to “communicate how our services add value to the lifestyle of the potential patron.” (Horn, 2016)


Evaluation. Retrieved from https://www.odi.org/blogs/10594-2018-time-update-dac-evaluation-criteria

To evaluate how successful this plan is, the library will base on:

  • Program attendance 
  • How the users like the class: the library will collect feedback from social media and at the front desk. 
  • Another useful information is feedback from the library staff members who are in charge of the program. 
  • The library will also encourage users/students to share their stories/experience before and after their class and taking the citizenship test/mock citizenship interview.


Horn, T. (2016). Marketing 101 with Trenton Smiley. Retrieved from http://publiclibrariesonline.org/2016/03/marketing-101-with-trenton-smiley/

Stephens, M. (2020). The hyperlinked library: Exploring the model. INFO 287. Retrieved fromhttps://287.hyperlib.sjsu.edu/module-3-the-hyperlinked-library-model/

The County of Santa Clara Public Health Department. (2020). Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Retrieved from https://www.sccgov.org/sites/phd/DiseaseInformation/novel-coronavirus/Pages/home.aspx

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