The purpose of the Digital Literacy Initiative is to provide technology-based resources to Oneonta to better prepare our community for the technological world and to create a STEM-literate populace. Adding new technology to library services and programs will inspire our community to create, master new tools and gain a level of expertise that is important in an increasingly technological world. The aim of this new initiative supports the Huntington Memorial Library’s mission statement, “To provide a creative environment that supports life-long learning by making information freely available in order to improve knowledge and strengthen the community”.

At this time, plans have been developed for a 3D Printing Project, Tech and Art Kits, the MineCraft Project and the overall, children’s STEAM Program. There is more to come. To learn about our current individual programs click on the image below. Digital Literacy Project Plan

See our Makerspace Technology Tools Inventory below:

Makerspace Technology Tools
Ricoh Theta 360 Camera
Canon EOS Rebel T5 Digital SLR Camera
Green Screen and Light Studio
2 GoPro Hero 4 and accessories
Wacom Pro Pen and Touch Drawing Tablet
2 Adobe Creative Cloud Suites
Canon VIXIA HF Camcorder
Google Cardboard-10
8 Dell Latitude E5570 Laptops
9 Kindle Fires, HD 8 and 10
6 Spheros and accessories
Moss Robot 5200 Kit
2 Lego Robotics Mindstorms EV3 Kits
3 Lego Robotics Wall E Building Kits
2 Stikbot Stop Animation Kits and accessories
2 Makey Makey Classics
littleBits Classroom Kit and Gizmos and Gadgets Kit
10 Minecraft licenses
SparkFun Arduino Inventor’s Kit
2 LED Student Biological Compound Microscopes and accessories
Lulzbot Taz 6 3D Printer (Dual, Single, Flexy Extruders)
Printrbot Play 3D Printer
SolidWorks Education software
Sketchup Pro software
Simplify 3D software
Structure Sensor 3D Scanner and Skanect Pro software
UMakeButtons button maker

ALA President Sari Feldman states that, “Libraries today are less about what we have on our shelves and more about what we do for and with people in our schools, campuses and communities. Learning for children and youth today is more flexible, more self-directed, and with greater opportunities to not just use content, but to create and collaborate digitally. Library professionals are committed to facilitating both individual opportunity for all and advancing community progress.”

Libraries see life-long learning as a fundamental mission. As society continues to create adaptive changes, libraries continue to grow with the communities they serve. As technology takes a larger role in our society, it is our work to equalize the playing field by creating a Makerspace for Oneonta. Dale Dougherty, founder of MAKE magazine said, “Librarians are makers of spaces, keepers of resources shared by many, makers of a culture of learning.” Makerspaces are basically a technological leap beyond library knitting and quilting circles where patrons and experts come together to learn new techniques and train others in a new skill. Technology tools, though, are a lot flashier and certainly more expensive than many craft supplies. In fact, the cost of Makerspaces is what makes it so appealing to library patrons. What one person cannot afford to purchase for occasional use, the library can buy and share with the greater community.

The digital divide is still alive and well in our country and digital literacy services at the library are an important way to combat it. Pew Research Center states that overall, people aged 18-34 are more likely to use the internet, but those with less education use it less than those with more education. Equitable access to and participation in the online environment is essential for success in education, employment, finance, health and wellness, civic engagement, and a democratic society. It may be up to the public library to level the playing field and build digitally inclusive communities. There is no doubt that digital literacy is important now and will continue to be an essential component of jobs and communications in the future. It is our goal that new skills will be learned at the library to benefit work force development and support the need to create by providing cutting edge technology tools.

The targeted audience for the Digital Literacy Initiative encompasses a wide range of demographic descriptors. According to the American Library Association, in libraries across the country, kids gather to make Lego robots, teens create digital music, movies and games with computers, students engineer new projects while adults create prototypes for small business products with laser cutters and 3D printers. The proliferation of micro-businesses that need cutting edge tools will find that the technology at HML will support their endeavors.