Communications in Information Literacy, Vol 10, No 1 (2016)

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The Development of Digital Literacy and Inclusion Skills of Public Librarians

Konstantina Martzoukou, Joanneke Elliott

Abstract


This paper examines the extent to which public librarians are successfully prepared to engage the community in digital literacy and inclusion. A qualitative, multiple case study research design was chosen, using an analysis of policy documents and existing training programmes offered by the libraries together with semi-structured interviews with public librarians and library management. This was followed by an analysis of Masters in Library & Information Science programmes. The majority of public librarians felt that information technology skills and transferable skills were perceived to be equally important. However most of the public librarians identified quite a few gaps between what they learned in their library program and how it translated into their working environment. They also expressed a great interest and need for additional on-going technical training and development to promote digital literacy and to become proficient in understanding the needs of the community. Gaps in MLIS programs were identified around the areas of e-Books, basic PC trouble shooting, social media and communication skills. This study concludes with several recommendations for public libraries and for MLIS programs to foster digital literacy and inclusion.

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