Digital training and programs are an important part of libraries these days.

Digital literacy an important piece of library learning

VIRL outlets offer many ways to learn

Support for literacy is a core mission of our public library.

In a world of ever changing technology, support for digital literacy is an evolving and engaging challenge. But what is digital literacy and what does it mean for the library?

Digital literacy is defined by the American Library Association as the mental and technical ability “to use information and communication technologies to find, understand, evaluate, create and communicate digital information” (2013).

Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) has a wide ranging digital presence. We connect with our community online via the website, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media presences. The library’s online catalogue remains a essential service, the primary digital access point to the library collection. We provide apps for downloadable ebook and audiobook services, for digital magazines, movies and music.

Lifelong learning is supported by online language and training applications from Mango Languages and Lynda.com. Genealogists and family historians have in-branch access to the historical records of Ancestry.com. Multiple library databases offer access to a variety of resource types, including the BC Building Code, consumer, health and legal information, engine repair and motor vehicle information, and a range of educational resources.

As a public access point for the Internet, library staff frequently assist members as they navigate online government services, negotiate webmail and social media accounts, apply for jobs, and create and print documents. Library staff use these moments to share some of the skills and knowledge they need for the digital environment.

“Our members really appreciate the help they receive from library staff. The digital divide does exist. Some members have difficulty navigating the Web or searching for information. I help people who tell me they know nothing about computers or the Internet, but they need to find a document or some information. That’s the gap in knowledge the library attempts to bridge,” says Matt Mukai, Adult Services Librarian at the Courtenay branch.

The expansion of digital library resources is matched by community demand. Since 2011, VIRL has seen use of our library’s digital collection grow 475 per cent.

To support that demand, librarians have developed instructional workshops and tutorial sessions, expanding the focus from library-related offerings to common digital devices and their ecosystems. iPads Made Easy, an introductory class, and Tech Tuesdays, a drop-in tech help session, are popular programs at branches throughout VIRL.

The future of libraries and digital technology is in providing access to creative technologies and learning spaces, while sustaining collections and other resources for mobile and computer use.

As digital devices and ecosystems develop and evolve, the library will continue to offer programs and services that support the digital literacy of our community.

For more information visit the library’s website www.virl.bc.ca

–VIRL

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Comox Museum exhibits available for online viewing

Visit all the Comox Museum exhibits from your home, on its website

Classes in Comox Valley to look a little different in June

School district senior staff has been busy prepping for re-opening

Rotarians clean up the beach at Goose Spit in Comox

Newest Rotary club in area hopes to make it an annual event

Cumberland signs on for region’s compost program

The Village has been involved with a pilot compost program since 2012

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

Comox Valley business map offers information on local eateries, grocery stores and more

Search and click for hours and services offered during the COVID-19 pandemic

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

B.C.’s Central Kootenay region declares state of emergency, issues evacuation orders

The evacuation alert covers all areas except the Cities of Castelgar and Nelson

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Man dies in ATV accident south of Nanaimo

Incident happened on backroad Friday night in Nanaimo Lakes area

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Most Read