Do libraries play a major role in facilitating digital skill development for the public? What makes the library the place to be for learning or improving digital skills?
To find the answers to these questions and others, tune in to episode five of the Princh Library Lounge! In this episode our host, Marc Lapointe, is joined by two library professionals that are well versed on this topic. Those guests are Pamela Tulloch and Lindsey Henderson from the Scottish Library & Information Council.
Princh Library Lounge Episode 5: Digital Development in Libraries with Pamela Tulloch and Lindsey Henderson.
We hear a lot about digital literacy and its importance in our everyday life in today’s modern world. However, just how important are digital skills? Can someone not possessing these skills get by in today’s world? And most importantly; how can libraries facilitate and improve digital development in the modern society?
To find out the answer to these and many other questions, tune in to episode 5 of the Princh Library Lounge, where our host, Marc Lapointe, is joined by Pamela Tulloch, CEO of the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC), and Lindsey Henderson, Head of Programme at SLIC.
Let’s start off the conversation by defining digital literacy; how important it is in today’s world?
Pamela starts the discussion by stating that in 2019 our lives are increasingly becoming more and more digital by default. However, not everybody in society can keep up with these changes, which leads to a divided population; and as a result, those who do not posses the ability to navigate in the digital world are becoming evermore excluded. That is why it is important for libraries to provide the necessary learning environment for these people.
Lindsey adds that digital literacy affects every aspect of one’s life, whether it’s getting the best deals online, job applications, leisure activities and, ultimately, access and opportunities for the future in life.
Now that we’ve established the importance of digital literacy, what are some of the potential barriers to it?
In Pamela’s opinion there are many barriers. One of them is that some people still lack basic literacy. Another barrier is the fact that a large part of the population in Scotland still has limited access to the digital world. And even if one is literate and has access to digital resources, they still need to gain an understanding of how the world works digitally. Pamela brings up the example of young people in universities; while they have their own devices with internet access, occasionally they still lack the digital skills needed to get through their studies.
Lindsey brings up another potential barrier, namely that many people may feel under-confident and even embarrassed by their lack of digital skills. That is why libraries have to be a safe place for these people to come to and learn. Lindsey also mentions a recent study by the Carnegie UK Trust that shows that 70% of Scottish people see libraries as a safe and kind place.
You have already mentioned the role of libraries, but could you please further elaborate on it, es