The two year grant, which was given via the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program, will help PLA partner with the American Library Association (ALA)’s Office for Information Technology Policy and the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) to create resources accessible to libraries, patrons, and other community-based organizations.
PLA plans to use the grant funding to gather, evaluate, and promote existing state and public library resources related to digital literacy, develop and implement new ones, identifying gaps and solutions for filling them, and assess and perhaps develop materials for special populations.
“We are committed to helping public libraries prepare for the launch of the broadband initiative Connect2Compete this fall and an Ad Council campaign in early 2013 urging people to visit their local libraries for free online tools and digital literacy education,” said Eva Poole, PLA president and chief of staff of the District of Columbia Public Library.
PLA will launch the online beta resource center at the 2013 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle, and plans to continue demonstrations at ALA and PLA conferences throughout 2013 and 2014.
The move comes a few months after the FCC drew fire in from some the library community for proposing a “Digital Literacy Corps” which seemed to duplicate or usurp the work of librarians. IMLS also released Building Digital Communities: A Framework for Action this past March.