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Digital Literacy in Washington State

The Washington State Library is pleased to provide this portal combining digital literacy tools developed in Washington State as well as national project information about Digital Literacy for libraries and the public. Resources include help with computing skills, job seeking, online security and safety, tech tips & terminology, accessibility, portals, and training for libraries.

What is Digital Literacy?

From the American Library Association’s (ALA) Digital Literacy Task Force (which is led by the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy); Digital Literacy is defined as:

Two people performing research on a laptop
… the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, understand, evaluate, create, and communicate digital information, an ability that requires both cognitive and technical skills.

A digitally literate person:

  • possesses the variety of skills, cognitive and technical, required to find, understand, evaluate, create, and communicate digital information in a wide variety of formats;
  • is able to use diverse technologies appropriately and effectively to search for and retrieve information, interpret search results, and judge the quality of the information retrieved;
  • understands the relationships among technology, lifelong learning, personal privacy, and appropriate stewardship of information;
  • uses these skills and the appropriate technologies to communicate and collaborate with peers, colleagues, family, and on occasion the general public;
  • uses these skills to participate actively in civic society and contribute to a vibrant, informed, and engaged community.

You can find the full report on ALA's District Dispatch Adobe Reader - Click to Download

Major Initiatives

Microsoft IT Academy

Through a partnership with Microsoft, the Washington State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State, received funding from the legislature to offer the Microsoft IT Academy to community and technical college libraries, public libraries, and tribal libraries at no cost during the current biennium (July 2013 through June 2015). Funds from the legislature pay for the non-discounted portion and Microsoft has discounted the remaining cost of these courses by approximately 90%. Funding from the legislature will also cover the Washington State Library to partner with both libraries and Microsoft in the project. Learn more at the State Library's Microsoft IT Academy page.

EveryoneOn

EveryoneOn is powered by Connect2Compete. Connect2Compete aims to eliminate the digital divide by providing high speed, low-cost Internet and computers, and free digital literacy training to all Americans. Learn more at EveryoneOn: everyoneon.org.

DigitalLearn

DigitalLearn offers free learning tools to help make technology work for you. Learn more at digitallearn.org

Digital Public Library of America

The DPLA planning initiative grew out of an October 2010 meeting at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, which brought together over 40 representatives from foundations, research institutions, cultural organizations, government, and libraries to discuss best approaches to building a national digital library. Learn more at dp.la

Contact

For more information about the WSL Digital Literacy project:

Jennifer Fenton, CE/Training Coordinator
jennifer.fenton@sos.wa.gov
360.570.5571
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IMLS


Funded in part by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).