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Putting Libraries on the National Stage

everyoneonEvery day public library staff witness firsthand the importance of digital literacy skills in applying for work, furthering education, seeking government assistance and a host of essential life functions. Starting today, a new national campaign will help others understand how vital these skills are so that everyone can access the power of the Internet.

Public libraries, Connect2Compete, their national partners, and the Ad Council have joined together and are launching EveryoneOn. The EveryoneOn campaign mission is to empower people by giving them the tools and confidence they need to improve their lives through the Internet. Libraries and other community-based organizations are critical to the success of this national campaign in our communities across the country.

Using public libraries as critical partners, the campaign will encourage people who do not regularly use the Internet to find free training opportunities already provided by libraries (and other community-based organizations). Libraries can add information about their digital literacy programs to the zip code locator tool to help people find help more easily. People looking for free digital literacy training also can call 855-EVRY1ON (387-9166) or text CONNECT to 30364 (English) or CONECTA to 30364 (in Spanish) to find nearby training. The campaign will teach the public about the importance of technology in developing digital skills via advertisements, public service announcements and social media activities over the next three years.

“We are excited that libraries are a part of this timely national campaign,” said Marijke Visser, assistant director of the American Library Association’s Office for Information Technology Policy. “Libraries are in a unique position to address digital literacy because they provide public access computers staffed with knowledgeable librarians who can help patrons learn digital skills.”

3.21 is just the beginning. A toolkit for libraries is available from EveryoneOn to make it easier to get involved in the campaign. You also can connect via Facebook and Twitter. And the Public Library Association, with funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services — another Connect2Compete partner, is launching the Digital Learning Center today. Librarians will find a hub of resources for end users (including self-paced tutorials) and for library staff (including curriculum and best practices).

ALA OITP is proud to be part of this important work.

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Marijke Visser

Marijke Visser is the associate director and senior policy advocate at the American Library Association’s Washington Office. She is involved in all stages of Libraries Ready to Code, E-rate, and Connect Home projects. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Peace and Global Studies/Sociology and Anthropology from Earlham College in Indiana. Before joining the ALA in 2009, Marijke earned her master’s in Library and Information Science from Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis.

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