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October 25, 2015 at 6:03 pm #2746Bronwyn LinthwaiteParticipant
Week 9 – Argue a Point
“Supporting the development of technology skills is not the role of the library”
This week I’m going to be arguing against the above statement. I will argue that supporting technology skills is essential to the development of digital literacy, and it is indeed the role of the library to support the emergence of these skills.
Firstly, technology skills are required to navigate the full extent of the library’s collections. The shift towards e-resources in libraries requires adequate confidence with technology in order to benefit from the range of resources that libraries provide. Technology skills are developed through problem solving and require experience with different forms of technology that are not available to all people. Libraries are focused on bridging the digital divide in recognition of the access issues when it comes to internet connection, computers or emerging technologies due to social factors. It is also recognised that t<span style=”line-height: 1.5;”>echnology skills and access to digital equipment are also commonly required in order to function well in contemporary society; for example to check bank accounts, pay bills, communicate with utilities and other companies and government departments such as Medicare. Importantly social interactions are taking place within digital rather than physical spaces, and many communities have a strong presence online due to social technologies. </span>
Demand for technology skills programs in the library is not new although it is said to have greatly increased particularly in the health sector according to Emily Hurst. The demand for training however is in a different form, focusing on emerging technologies and systems. The development of new technology classes such as those that incorporate mobile technologies for example, are demanding new skills for librarians in this sector. A negative attitude toward technology assistance as a library service according to Pamela Carson and Geoffrey Little is due to identity and other factors which influence the perception of the librarians role. They claim that balanced identities can aid performance when it comes to supporting/facilitating the development of technology skills in library users. In addition it could be argued that digital skills are essential for librarians responsible for digital library development and management.
Ultimately, helping people be more independent will reduce the time required for librarians and library assistants to attend to technology issues. Although new technologies and systems are continually being released, those with confidence and experience with technology are able to intuitively understand how the system works and can problem solve issues as they arise. Problem based learning structures information technology creation. In this way it could be argued that it is unrealistic to expect students to gain a comprehensive set of technology skills from their schooling experience, as learning is dependent upon in a significant way exposure to these problems and issues.
Young people do however develop digital literacy skills through curriculum interventions in the schooling system, however older generations have not had this opportunity. In the future it is imagined that this form of programming will become obsolete in libraries with exposure to technology in the education system. However in the meantime these programs and services are required so that older people in the community can participate fully in community life. Due to economic factors however, there will probably always be a need for libraries to provide computers and other equipment as a service to the community. The State Library of Queensland 2017 vision statement envisions Queensland public libraries as being technologically trendsetting community spaces. It can no longer be argued that developing technology skills is not the role of the library.
October 30, 2015 at 6:45 am #2860Steven WalkerParticipant
“helping people be more independent will reduce the time required for librarians and library assistants to attend to technology issues. Although new technologies and systems are continually being released, those with confidence and experience with technology are able to intuitively understand how the system works and can problem solve issues as they arise” is why I qam becoming an IT specialist and I like to help to help people, god to see you are arguing got something similar. Whats the hardest part about the SLQ vision wuld you say?
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