Document Type

Research Article


This paper examines the extent to which public librarians are successfully prepared to engage the community in digital literacy and inclusion. A qualitative, multiple case study research design was chosen, using an analysis of policy documents and existing training programmes offered by the libraries together with semi-structured interviews with public librarians and library management. This was followed by an analysis of Masters in Library & Information Science programmes. The majority of public librarians felt that information technology skills and transferable skills were perceived to be equally important. However most of the public librarians identified quite a few gaps between what they learned in their library program and how it translated into their working environment. They also expressed a great interest and need for additional on-going technical training and development to promote digital literacy and to become proficient in understanding the needs of the community. Gaps in MLIS programs were identified around the areas of e-Books, basic PC trouble shooting, social media and communication skills. This study concludes with several recommendations for public libraries and for MLIS programs to foster digital literacy and inclusion.