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Conference Proceeding

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Adult literacy, Computer assisted instruction, Digital divide


This mixed methods research examined the digital problem solving processes of vulnerable adults within the community setting of a public library. Data were collected from approximately 450 library users who completed a library survey, a subset who completed PIAACs Problem Solving in Technology Rich Environments (PSTRE) assessment, and a smaller subset who participated in an observation protocol. Quantitative analysis revealed that library website use was a strong predictor of PSTRE scores. Qualitative analysis showed that digital problem solving needs to be seen as a set of contexts and events that are dynamic across different situations. In order to respond to changing contexts, digital problems solvers use different strategies to apply what they know to new situations. This research positions libraries as an important community anchor institution for promoting and supporting the development of digital problem solving practices among vulnerable adults.


Roundtable presented at the Adolescent, Family, and Community Literacy: Mobilizing Strength Based Pedagogies conference. Tucson, AZ.

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