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Digital Literacy Grant recipients announced

Recently the Washington State Library awarded 12 grants totaling $75,059 to public, academic, and tribal libraries to support digital literacy efforts. TurnerUnivPlace022014A 3-D Printer, Spanish language computer classes, Digital Petting Zoos and the Microsoft IT Academy are all receiving funding from the Washington State Library.

Congratulations to the 12 recipients of the 2014 Digital Literacy grants. These grants are beginning as the 2013 Digital Literacy grant cycle is wrapping up.

The 2014 Digital Literacy Grant recipients are:

  • Columbia County Rural Library District will purchase 10 laptops for use by the public in the library’s e-Commerce incubator initiative. The district will provide a six-week repeatable program of business basics instruction, including e-marketing principles, using Excel as a business tracker, and utilizing online payment systems. The library will work with Dayton Chamber of Commerce, Port of Columbia and Dayton School District 1.
  • Ellensburg Public Library will offer classes and support to Spanish language speakers for improving computer skills. The library is partnering with Ellensburg School District staff and St. Andrew’s Catholic Church.
  • Libraries of Stevens County will purchase 11 “gadgets” to educate and encourage county residents to engage with technology. The Digital Petting Zoo will be showcased at eight library locations, local events such as fairs, and as requested by other organizations.
  • Mount Vernon City Library will provide computer instruction to help with daily business and communication tasks. The library will target two underserved populations: families with young children, especially English language learners; and retired seniors. The library will use grant funds to provide more devices for training, improve computer access for parents with children, and pay for substitute hours so full-time staff can build the program. Project partners are Goodwill Training Center, which will refer clients and provide teaching advice; the Senior Center, which will give referrals, and a practice center for seniors; and Key Bank, which will provide a bilingual presenter for some classes. The library will continue partnerships with the Microsoft IT Academy and the Friends of the Mount Vernon Library.
  • Nisqually Tribal Library will offer three six-week series of classes, using Microsoft IT Academy curricula, to specific targeted audiences: TANF/Worksource clients, patrons on a path to completing their GED, and parents of young children. Partners include the Washington State Library and Microsoft, as the tribal library is a current host site for the Microsoft ITAcademy, and tribal community support services.
  • Nooksack Indian Tribal Library will conduct digital literacy building for elders. The program will match tribal teens with tribal elders to assist them with computer basics, building teen/elders relationships. All tribal administrative departments will be partners for this project; social services, education, culture, information technology), housing, family services and tribal health.
  • North Central Regional Library will use its grant for its Make it NOW! 3-D Printer Project. In traveling education programs, teens will learn how to design, program and create their own 3-D printer objects. Staff will collaborate with local teachers, engage older teens to become mentors, and teach young teens new skills in rural library branches.
  • Pierce County Library System will provide Microsoft IT Academy open classroom labs where transitioning service members with moderate computer and technology skills can take online classes and earn certification. The labs will be located at the library’s partner sites, Workforce Central and RallyPoint/6. Workforce Central will identify clients and provide funding for certifications.
  • Ritzville Public Library will purchase a laptop lab to hold a series of off-site monthly workshops on a variety of topics aimed at specific user groups. Topics will include basic computing, the Internet, job skills, online security, etc. Workshops will focus on the elderly and disabled who can’t access library programs due to the library’s non-ADA compliant building, or residents in the library’s widespread service area for whom visiting the library is difficult.
  • Seattle Central College Library will train and lead a team of faculty in developing digital literacy curriculum for SCC students. Librarians will create a “next wave” digital and information literacy plan that incorporates “metaliteracy.” Using this plan, librarians will partner with the college’s Center for Extended Learning to help faculty develop instructional content for online, face-to-face, and hybrid courses.
  • Spokane Public Library will provide access and training to the Spokane business community, partnering organizations and library customers interested in technologies that can improve their understanding and knowledge in an ever-changing digital world. The library will provide direct training, as well as produce instructional videos to improve individuals’ and organizations’ digital presence. The partnering organizations for this project are: Spokane Neighborhood Action Partners Women’s Business Center, the Small Business Administration SCORE office, and the Avista Center for Entrepreneurship at Spokane Community College.
  • Walla Walla Rural Library District will conduct monthly Tech Nights on Digital Literacy themes for library users throughout its five-branch library district. These hands-on sessions will teach users how to use current technology to find information, conduct personal and business transactions, and enrich their personal lives. Local community members who use tablets and other mobile technology in their small businesses will be invited to attend programs to share their experiences. Partners for this grant project include Library Friends groups, which will provide volunteers for Tech Night programs.

For more information on the grants, contact Jennifer Fenton, the State Library’s digital literacy project manager, at (360) 570-5571.

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