Recent study on Texas libraries shows ongoing need for digital literacy programs
Austin, Texas (May 10, 2023) – In March, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission released a study, called Texas Public Libraries: Serving Communities to Enhance Digital Literacy. Data for this study was gathered from over 300 librarians throughout the state. According to the report, libraries provide over $70 million in training, both in the form of classes and one-on-one instruction.
Additionally, the report states that almost 60% of Texans experience some sort of digital distress, and two-thirds of Texas librarians believe there are unmet needs regarding digital literacy. Connected Nation believes this statistic is not isolated to the state of Texas. It has been reported that 28 million adults in the United States lack the basic digital skills that they need to use a computer, according to the Coalition of Adult Basic Education.
Libraries are trusted pillars in most communities. In fact, they are often the first place people turn when they need help with using the internet or gaining other digital skills. For over 21 years, Connected Nation (CN) has partnered with local libraries to ensure residents and students have a place to go when their broadband access is limited.
In 2021, CN spoke with a few librarians about “The role of rural and urban libraries in closing the Digital Divide.” Now that more and more residents are able to get connected, it is essential that they know how to use technology to enrich their lives. Whether it be to search for employment, contact doctors, take an online class, or even use social media – digital literacy is crucial in today’s world.
According to the Texas study, the state’s libraries and their staff are providing an astounding 84% of the digital literacy training in their states. This report has not only captured the important statistics, but also real-world accounts from those working every day to close the Digital Divide in their communities. Read the full study to learn what is working, what isn’t, and what gaps still exist.
CN is proud to partner with local organizations across the country, many of which are libraries, to ensure they can continue to be a vital part in expanding digital literacy in their communities. To learn more about CN’s Digital Literacy and Learning Program, visit: https://connectednation.org/digital-literacy-workshops/.
About the Author: Ashley Pino is the Connected Nation Marketing Communications Specialist. She is responsible for communications and marketing functions that broadly publicize Connected Nation (CN)’s mission, educate stakeholders on Digital Divide issues, and lead to new programs and projects that expand CN’s social impact.