New Course: Media Smart Libraries

Graduate School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Rhode Island /

Children today need to be prepared for living in a digital, media-smart world and youth librarians are in a great position to effectively serve this need. Since digital technologies and online behaviors evolve so rapidly however, many librarians need professional development to advance their own digital and media literacy skills to better support their young patrons’ development as critical thinkers and producers of digital media.

Media Smart Libraries, an IMLS grant-funded project, is offering three continuing education modules that can be taken as a series or independently. The modules, Media Literacy, Film Education and Production, and Computational Thinking, were designed by Dr. Melissa Johnston, an instructional design specialist and associate professor at the University of West Georgia, in consultation with the Media Smart Libraries research team of Drs. Valerie Karno, Lauren Mandel, and Mary Moen, all faculty from the Graduate School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Rhode Island.

Library staff who complete each module will gain the knowledge and skills to implement new, engaging, and relevant programming in digital and media literacy to not only children, but with minor adaptations, to patrons of all ages. These professional development modules are being offered for free in the WebJunction Course Catalog as a way to sustain the goals of the Media Smart Libraries’ grant project and continue the professional learning of all library staff in these critical areas.