When I’m not reading textbooks on information technology I’m looking at information on literacy and information literacy. The thought that keeps popping up for me is ‘how can technology be best utilised to aid in literacy learning and information literacy’. Literacy encompasses such a large area that I feel like I’m drowning. The issue becomes also that if we are to use technology to teach people literacy then we need to be sure that the public knows how to use the technology in the first place. It’s no use to assume that because someone knows how to send an email, for example, that they know how to search for information on the internet or where they actually type the address of the search engine to use. There is no guarantee that the person even knows how to use a computer. This brings you to first having to make sure that there is basic computer literacy there in the first place so that the person can benefit from the information literacy training being provided.
We are so used to thinking that everyone knows how to use a computer that you have to stop yourself and realise that there are those who do fall into the ‘digital divide’ area who don’t know or aren’t proficient in using the digital technology but aren’t comfortable letting you know that this is the case that they will hide this. Finding the best way to reach out to these groups and let them know that you can gain the skills at a library is something that needs to happen and needs to be done in various ways to make people comfortable in approching the institution to gain the skills. Literacy starts early but it certainly is never to late. At the moment I’m reading a paper from the NSW Adult Literacy & Numeracy Council Seminar from last year (2010) by Mylee Joseph “Family literacy who cares! the role of public libraries in fostering family literacy” on family literacy and early literacy but I’ve got others still waiting to be read on various aspects of literacy. Needless to say I’m continually wondering how best to reach people. More to think about I guess.