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Title: Training the trainers: A public library - higher education collaboration for Media Literacy education in Ireland
Authors: Fulton, Crystal
McGuinness, Claire
Kerrigan, Páraic
Siapera, Eugenia
Carrie, David
Pope, Paige
Keywords: Subject::Media literacy
Subject::Public libraries
Subject::Professional development
Issue Date: 18-Jun-2022
Publisher: International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)
Series/Report no.: 87th IFLA World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) / 2022 in Dublin, Ireland;
Abstract: This paper addresses the issue of media, information, and digital literacy training for public library staff by describing a recent collaboration between academics at the School of Information and Communication Studies (ICS) at University College Dublin (UCD), and Meath County Council Libraries in Ireland, which aimed to develop and pilot an innovative media literacy training programme for the Meath public library staff in Spring 2021. In a project initiated by the Libraries Development unit of the Irish Local Government Management Agency (LGMA), and funded by Meta (formerly Facebook), the UCD team adopted a participatory action research approach to exploring the learning needs of the library staff, and creating a bespoke Media Literacy curriculum and training programme to prepare them to teach in their libraries. Needs assessment consisted of a review of the existing media literacy training landscape and a survey of the participating library staff, while a qualitative focus group probed the library staff’s perceptions and experiences of media literacy in relation to their day-to-day work, and suggested topics of critical importance for inclusion in the new curriculum. The Media Literacy training programme, which comprised five interactive online workshops on media literacy and pedagogy, took place at the end of June 2021. Participant evaluations provided valuable feedback about the effectiveness of the training, and recommendations for future developments. This paper demonstrates the power of collaborating with external groups - in this case, academics - to create a library-focused media literacy training programme for public librarians.
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