Tech for All (Paperback)
Moving beyond the Digital Divide (Lita Guides)
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 9781538122181, 216pp.
Publication Date: February 8, 2019
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How can libraries ensure that patrons from all socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds have access to advanced technology training and hardware? Everyone knows libraries provide access to computers and the internet for day to day use, but many libraries have gone beyond those basic services. Makerspaces and advanced tech training are often not equitably distributed between differing communities. The digital divide is still very real, and by not providing equal access to maker spaces and other similar services libraries may be unintentionally contributing to that divide. This book examines how the unequal distribution of resources between communities can limit access to emerging technologies. Chapters from librarians across the country give real world examples of libraries going the extra mile to bring more than just email access to their communities, regardless of economic status or geographic distribution. You'll find practical plans put forward by working professionals who have sought pragmatic solutions to issues of digital literacy. Access is a through line in this work as people look at the larger ideas of access as inclusive of training, diverse technologies, and the time and space to make genuine growth in tech literacy. Chapters include: -working with immigrants, -low cost laptops for library use, -deep dives into the underpinnings of the maker movement, and -developing community-focused technology training. After reading this book, librarians should have practical ideas to address the issue of equity in access to emerging technologies in their own communities.
About the Author
Lauren Comito has been working to level the playing field for New York City library users for over a decade. Currently the Neighborhood Library Supervisor at the Mill Basin Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, in her previous work as the Job & Business Academy Manager at Queens Library she developed a team that has helped hundreds of people find employment opportunities. She created the Where in Queens mobile website as a development on the ideas put forth by ZenDesk and LinkSF, with whom she laid the groundwork for a partnership while she was presenting at SXSW Interactive. Lauren has logged hundreds of hours training people how to use technology to improve their lives and job opportunities. Lauren is also very invested in the Library ecosystem serving in numerous capacities in ALA (Council, Committee on Library Advocacy) and in the New York Library Association (President Leadership & Management Section, Chair of the Communication Committee). She is the Chair of the Board of Urban Librarians Unite as well as being a founding member of the org. She started ULU's Urban Librarians Conference and has organized this highly regarded conference for four years with speakers and attendees from across the country. Lauren Comito was awarded a Library Journal Mover & Shaker award for her work with tech training and job readiness. Her workgroup received the 2015 Gale Cengage Award for Excellence in Reference & Adult Library Services for the Where in Queens project. She is regularly asked to speak at regional and national conferences on topics of tech, tech training, women in leadership, cross generational management, and library advocacy.