Plinius

fredag, september 5, 2008

P 207/08: E-borgerne besøker biblioteket

Filed under: Uncategorized — plinius @ 6:08 am

IKT forandrer verden.

Dette er gammelt nytt. Den strategiske statssekretærrapporten kom i 1996. Det som er interessant, er detaljene.

Industrialiseringen av Norge tok minst fire generasjoner (1850-1970 = 120 år). Digitaliseringen av samfunnet går raskere, men tar likevel minst en hel generasjon (1990-2020 = 30 år).

Teknologien raser avgårde. I praksis blir det den sosiale tilpassingen – vår evne til å utnytte det nye – som begrenser farten.

I årene opp mot 2010 er de digitale teknologiene i ferd med å spre seg fra arbeidsplassene til skoler og høyere utdanning, til offentlig forvaltning og til folks hverdagsliv (Web 2.0; social computing). Praktisk håndtering av digitale verktøy og medier blir like nødvendig som det å lese, skrive og regne.

Digital kompetanse

Det kalles digital kompetanse – og regnes som en basisferdighet. I denne fasen vokser bibliotekenes digitale – og politiske – betydning.

Selve begrepet digital kompetanse skaper avstand – og vil nok forsvinne raskt. Hvem snakker i dag om elektriske sporvogner og boklig lærdom? Når digitale verktøy er en del av hverdagen, dreier det seg ikke om digitale, men om dagligdagse ferdigheter.

Men foreløpig oppleves det digitale som noe nytt og forstyrrende.

Noen mennesker griper de digitale mulighetene på egen hånd. Andre blir løftet inn i den nye virkeligheten av sine omgivelser . Elever, studenter og folk i kontoryrker blir digitalisert av sine institusjoner.

Men alle de andre trenger broer, stiger, heiser og rulletrapper fra det gamle til det nye. Nå banker myndighetene på bibliotekets dør. Kan ikke dere hjelpe resten av befolkningen å følge med?

IKT-bruk på amerikanske folkebibliotek

I går skrev jeg om FADs nye program for digital kompetanseutvikling i bibliotek. I dag har jeg klippet noen avsnitt fra en sentral amerikansk rapport.

En håndfull amerikanske bibliotekforskere, med John Carlo Bertot og Charles McClure i spissen. har fulgt den økonomiske og tekniske utviklingen i folkebibliotekene siden 1994. Siden 1997 har Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation brukt flere hundre millioner kroner for å skaffe datautstyr og nettforbindelser til amerikanske folkebibliotek.

Fra og med i fjor har stiftelsen også finansiert en grundig statistisk undersøkelse av bibliotekenes bruk av IKT.

USA er ikke Norge, men den brede datautviklingen er den samme i begge land – som i hele den vestlige verden. Den grundige kartleggingen av IKT i bibliotek viser både likheter og forskjeller i forhold til Norge. Rapporten setter også ord på mange utviklingstrekk og sammenhenger som finnes  – men som ikke har vært diskutert  – i det norske fagmiljøet.

Sitatene nedenfor er klippet fra det innledende ti siders sammendraget (Executive Brief).

I tillegg anbefaler jeg sidene 130-132 – i kapitlet Findings from focus groups and site visits. De gir et levende bilde av hvordan bibliotekene i New York, Nord Carolina, Pennsylvania og Virginia fungerer som digitale ressurssentre for personer som ellers mister adgangen til nettet.

– Perhaps most surprising is that half of the computer users interviewed in these libraries do not own home computers, and only 32 percent have access to the Internet at home.

One library director put it this way: “The digital divide is alive and well in our areas. We serve urban and very rural areas. They either cannot afford high speed or (service providers) do not go there.”

Hele rapporten er gratis tilgjengelig på nettet.

Ressurser

Plinius

***

The State of Technology and Funding in U.S. Public Libraries in 2008

Executive Brief

Libraries Connect Communities: Public Library Funding and Technology Access Study 2007–2008 marks the second year of the study, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the American Library Association (ALA), and continues the research of previous surveys conducted by John Carlo Bertot and Charles R. McClure, with others, since 1994.

En-til-en veiledning er nødvendig

Library staff members at all levels play vital intermediary roles in supporting, managing and maintaining public access to computers and the Internet.

For first-time users, a computer is only as good as the library staff available to orient them—including how to use a mouse, how to open an email account and how to search the Internet effectively.

In addition to the one-on-one assistance offered in all libraries, almost three-quarters of libraries … offer information technology training for library patrons.

More library staff report they are scheduling one-hour sessions with patrons to orient them to the broad range of skills necessary to do research, find jobs or apply for government assistance. Many librarians report that applying for jobs and government services are among the most staff-intensive patron Internet needs.

Data krever arbeid

Like additional cars on the interstate, additional computers and services in libraries contribute to the “traffic” and create additional demands for staff to orient patrons and mediate public access to these resources.

Along with an 86 percent increase in the number of computers in U.S. public libraries, there was an 18.6 percent increase in library visits from 1.15 billion in 2000 to 1.36 billion in 2005. The number of full-time equivalent (FTE) staff grew only 6 percent over the same time period.

Den amerikanske befolkningen økte med 2,5% – fra 281,4  til 288,4 millioner – i samme periode, som tilsvarer en økning i besøk pr. capita fra 4,1 i 2000 til 4,7 i 2005.

Behov for intern opplæring

The impact on staff to support the increasing services is often expressed with frustration. There is a limited amount of time for staff to train themselves on the new technology-based services offered to the public, as well as the time to adequately support their patrons’ needs for training and instruction.

With almost 60 percent of libraries staffed by fewer than five full-time staff members, the difficulty of providing coverage for staff to receive training elsewhere is a challenge often compounded by long travel times for rural library staff. Scheduling time for in-library training is also complicated, especially when there is little overlap time in schedules for part-time and full-time staff.

Utdanning og jobbsøking på topp

Library staff rank the top …  uses of public Internet service …:

  • education for K-12 students (79 percent)
  • and job-seeking services (62 percent). …
  • providing access to government information (56 percent),…
  • providing education resources and databases for adults/continuing education services (47 percent)
  • computer and Internet skills training (38 percent)

[TH: avrundede prosenter]

Tilgang på utstyr

In addition to providing these informational and lifelong learning resources, libraries also provide peripheral device support to library patrons.

he 2007–2008 study asked about these devices for the first time and found that public libraries allow users to access and store content on USB storage devices (e.g., flash drives, portable drives) or other devices (72 percent), make use of digital camera connection and manipulation (37 percent) and burn CDs/DVDs (35 percent).

The results and effects of these increases in online public library services are manifold. The good is that library users who visit the library in person or virtually via its Web site have more access to resources—many of which are unavailable or too expensive to purchase at the individual consumer.

The tradeoff is that these services often come at the expense of reduced Internet speeds, funding for other
resources and higher expectations by patrons for library staff assistance in using these resources.

Trådløse tjenester

… many libraries have added wireless to support patrons bringing their own computers to the library or to support laptop check-out for in-library users. Libraries also reported the growing need for staff training in implementing wireless, as they continue to dedicate desktop computers to patron use, and rely on wireless laptops for training or the demonstration of new Internet services.

During site visits, a number of library directors indicated there was high demand for more workstations and wireless connectivity at their libraries. But, for the reasons noted above, such was unlikely to occur.

Moreover, obtaining more workstations or wireless connectivity might only exacerbate the strain of providing technology training to users and staff, and could put even more pressure on the library’s budget to purchase additional software and other resources for the workstations, as well as require additional funds to address workstation maintenance issues.

Samarbeidstiltak

The public library community needs to develop new models for deploying and managing technology.

In addition to participating in library networks, cooperatives and consortia that leverage shared resources, libraries need to develop strategies to work with other community organizations to promote additional public access technologies.

Collaboration with educational organizations, such as public schools and community colleges, other local community groups and private sector firms may produce ideas and strategies that can integrate with, extend and/or enhance public library networked services. Such collaborations can be an important component of the library’s advocacy strategy, alleviate pressure on the public library as the sole provider of public access and create a more robust community-wide public access infrastructure.

Investing in additional public library staff and staff training activities are investments in technology. The one-on-one and formal trainings offered in libraries are essential for many patrons, and for many, this is the only avenue for them to learn how to successfully use Internet-based resources for work, school and life interests.

Increasingly complex networked environments also demand dedicated IT staffing.

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