November 29, 2015

IMLS Seeks Feedback on Digital Inclusiveness Framework


The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), in conjunction with the International City/County Management Association and the Seattle-based University of Washington Information School’s Technology & Social Change Group, earlier this month announced its draft framework proposal [PDF] on building “digitally inclusive communities.” The organizations are seeking public input on the proposal via an online survey through this Wednesday, November 30; survey results will be used to finalize the framework, according to the announcement.

The project’s aim is to help communities develop their own plans to increase access to digital technologies to its residents, and is a response to a recommendation in the National Broadband Plan, released in March 2010:

“IMLS should develop guidelines for public access technology based on populations served and organization size. These guidelines would help libraries and CBOs [community-based organizations] assess their needs for public access workstations, portable devices and bandwidth. IMLS should work with these organizations to develop guidelines and review them annually to reflect changing technology and practices.”

The framework includes the broad strokes of how communities can work toward increasing digital access, by bringing together stakeholders such as government and public agencies (“especially the public library”), nonprofits and for-profit businesses, and local residents; developing a definition and understanding of what digital literacy is, and what is needed to achieve it; and creating, implementing, evaluating, and revising an action plan.

The framework development process has so far included input from more than 100 representatives from libraries, CBOs, businesses, local governments, and other non-governmental organizations.

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On October 14, 2015 Library Journal, School Library Journal, and thousands of library professionals from around the world gathered for the 6th annual Digital Shift virtual conference to focus on the challenges and opportunities presented by the digital transition’s impact on libraries, their communities, and partners. Now available on-demand, this year’s program provides actionable answers to some of the biggest questions our profession faces for and from libraries of all types – school, academic, and public and features thought-provoking keynotes from John Palfrey, author of BiblioTech: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google, and Denise Jacobs, tech leader, author, and creativity evangelist.
David Rapp About David Rapp

Associate editor David Rapp previously covered technology for Library Journal.

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