:For Librarians

The four modules of Webmaker Training are somewhat non-specific. They are mainly designed to be an on-ramp for people who don’t have much experience with trying to #TeachTheWeb or people who are new to our community and the idea of Connected Learning. The four modules are the basics of what we as a community care about and why. We’ve tried to gather information that is useful when people are beginning to think about their involvement in the Mozilla community and in Maker Party, and we’ve tried to help people develop digital skills by prompting them to make using free and open tools.

Since we have a wide reaching and global community, we have lots of different interests to think about. With Webmaker Training, I feel like we’ve found a model that can work for any interest, so I’m excited to see if I’m right.

Enter the Librarian.

made for TV gone B Movie Franchise!

In the fall, we will be running Webmaker Training: For Librarians as our first specific interest group. In thinking about the specific learning modules librarians would need, I felt like I need a little bit of backup. So I used me some connected networking skills and I reached out to some Mozillians who know libraries and librarians*.

Notes about this audience

1. Jennie said that one of her favorite quotes from the “sleep cell librarian crew” in our community was

“Librarians are trained by vendors.”

She explained that it’s normally proprietary software that ends up in libraries and, thus, librarians are helping people use that stuff.

Solution 1: We’re a “vendor”, our software is the Web. Bam.

2. It was also pointed out to me that whether or not a librarian can justify his participation in #TeachTheWeb to a library director will determine if the modules are successful or not.

Solution 2: Everything is open and free. I guess that most libraries in N. America are members of the ALA, but their e-learning resources are…uh…not free. Also, there’s not much in the way of information literacy or digital making in their e-learning catalog, so programs like Webmaker Training can augment. I don’t really know what a library director is looking for, but libraries are the perfect establishments for things like Maker Parties, digital skills workshops, web – ahem – literacy work.

3. There is a huge age gap in librarians, so there’s also a huge skill gap when it comes to technology.
Solution 3: Karen suggested facilitating connections between generations, and I like this idea. I also think that modules for developing specific technical skills are a good idea.

4. There’s a difference between academic vs public libraries.


Solution 4: I think we can solve this with modularity. Kaitlin and Greg over at the Mozilla Science Lab and Software Carpentry have been working with academic research librarians, so we have a jumping off place for things like data skills, indexing, unix, etc. I mean, look at these lessons.

5. There’s a difference between urban vs rural libraries.
Solution 5: Oh yeah, I know! What can a rural librarian teach an urban librarian and vice versa? How does technology play a part in each library? What resources do libraries need? Let’s MAKE them together!

6. Librarians have some of the pedagogy stuff, so we need to have a stronger focus on the technical details.
Solution 6: That aligns with my sense that we need some smaller more focused “skill” modules ;) It was also mentioned that Webinars, videos and anything people can consume at work world be helpful, so I’m thinking popcorn videos should make their way to http://training.webmakerprototypes.org

7. This group needs to understand how they can use this network and why it’s valuable to them.
Solution 7: This is a discussion we should have together, but we have lots of case studies we can put together in an easily digestible format. Webpage to ebook anyone?


I’ve had quite a bit to think about in terms of how :For Librarians can fit into overarching visions of what Webmaker Training is or should become. These are my initial thoughts after digesting everything the “Mozillarians” had to say. I’d appreciate it if you collaborate with me on this by giving feedback, adding thoughts, curating content, donating ideas for good make prompts and otherwise help me push :For Librarians further.

Ideas for NEW modules

  1. Logistics (how to organize a Webmaker event / Maker Party – could be an education remix of the Event kits!), maintaining and developing free public spaces (finding funding and programming opportunities, understanding distribution).
  2. Building Online Networks (setting up a blog, HTML basics, online networking)
  3. Privacy and Security for Public Spaces (How to make online anonymity default, 3rd party cookies, https, do not track, Lightbeam)

Ideas for Building :For Librarians

As I said, we have lots of amazing baseline content. We don’t need an entirely new Building module, we need learning activities that would be valuable to lots of librarians. So what does each librarian want to make that would immediately benefit his/her library? A couple ideas for make prompts:

  • Make your typical learner profile (who are your largest group of patrons? Marginalized teens? Seniors? Children?)
  • Teaching Kit for Computer Basics (click, double click). I found this resource, got excited about what the community could do with it.
  • Top ten programs at your library
  • Top ten problems your library has
  • Teaching Kit for Searching (Especially in North America, library patrons are often elderly or disadvantaged who need basic training in everyday internet usage. Librarians are teaching people how to find health info, filing taxes, etc. How can we teach those basic skills in a way that people to keep coming to the library to level up?)
  • What else? Help!

Discourse discussions we should have

  • Best practices for encouraging critical literacies
    Honest and Open communication; (Exploring – could be based on typical learner profile)
    Community building (Connecting – could be based on “top ten programs”)

So that’s where I am in my :For Librarians thinking. What do you think? Leave a comment, or better yet, join the discussion.

* Thanks to Emily, Jennie, Kaitlin and Karen for brain dumping for me, and to the folks feeding me ideas in email ;)

:For Librarians

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