Digital literacy has become one of the major issues facing educators in this early part of the 21st century. The need to develop students and teachers digital literacies has become increasingly accepted as fact and yet most teachers' and students' understanding of what exactly constitutes a digital literacy still seems to remain quite vague. Even more vague seems to be teachers' understanding of how precisely we go about developing those literacies.
Today, the American Library Association’s (ALA) Digital Literacy Task Force (which is led by the Office for Information Technology Policy) releases its recommendations to advance and sustain library engagement in digital literacy initiatives nationwide. These recommendations build on the January 2013 Task Force report Digital Literacy, Libraries, and Public Policy and constitute a call to action on the part of the ALA, library education programs, front-line librarians, various funding bodies, and the diverse stakeholders who use and support library services.
Libraries of all types – school, academic, and public – play a vital role in ensuring all people have the skills and abilities to succeed in the Digital Age. These conclusions and recommendations culminate the Task Force’s work over 18 months and include comments from several public programs held at ALA conferences, as well as two online virtual public programs and task force meetings that included observers from different stakeholder groups.
One over-arching recommendation is that ALA should continue to have a member body that focuses on digital literacy and libraries. This group should consist of members with broad ALA representation. It would provide library leadership in digital literacy initiatives across and beyond the library community and track progress against these recommendations.