As one of the Web Literacy Trainers, I can tell you that I for one have learned quite a bit! Over the course of the last 12+ months and 8 training classes later, I without a doubt have a more informed knowledge of how the World Wide Web and Internet operate and what they can offer. In years previous as a college student, consumer, and social media user, I didn’t give much thought to areas such as security, protection, third party tracking, hacking and overall, being web literate. It’s a different and sometimes frightening world we’re living in and the need for protection while having an online presence is more crucial than ever. There are so many things the internet offers and in our day and age either you keep up with the constant changes of technology, or quite frankly, you get left behind. The digital world is quickly on the rise and it’s not slowing down. HTML tags and coding for creating webpages or composing a music playlist using embedded audio files are just a couple examples of what you can do on the internet. That is, if you know how to.
Being an institution that takes pride in providing education, innovation, access, and the latest technological trends, it only makes sense that we here at TLCPL train our staff in these areas so in turn we can give our knowledge back to those we serve. I believe this is the reason the Web Literacy Training Program is going so well. We are coaching our staff on how to accurately and confidently assist customers with technological questions while providing them with tools they can use to host programs. The topics we touch base on during our trainings not only help to serve our customers, but are beneficial in our personal lives as well.
My overall experience with Mozilla’s Web Literacy Pilot has truly been eye opening. Like I mentioned earlier, I have learned many things and my advice to other library systems is to get on board if you haven’t already. It’s a wonderful opportunity to supply your staff with the resources needed to better serve your customers. Prepare yourselves to spend a lot of time with your team planning the training program you will use to teach your staff and customers. It is also vital to have an adequate number of laptops at your agency to provide to trainees during the training. In my opinion, people who attend the class learn more efficiently by being able to navigate the laptop on their own rather than having a partner or group where one person is doing the navigating. I also feel it is best to keep the number of attendees around 20 to 25 (or less) if possible. There is a lot of information to cover and you’re going to get a lot of questions. Maybe even a few technical difficulties along the way, but it’s nothing a trained professional can’t handle!