Mozilla’s Web Literacy Leaders Program

On my train ride home from a trip to Maryland for the Sheep & Wool Festival and a quick visit to ALA’s Washington Office (a suitcase stuffed with yarn in tow), I dialed in to the kick-off call for Mozilla’s Web Literacy Leaders program.

As travelers around me overheard, I’m thrilled to be part of this program. I’ve been learning from and teaching Mozilla’s web literacy curriculum in the library setting since roughly a year ago, and 2017 is a great time to advance the goal of ensuring library staff is well versed in these skills.

In just the past few months we’ve seen a move away from consumer protections in ISP data collection, net neutrality has become an open question, and hacking tips stolen from the NSA provided a route for hackers to disrupt systems all over the globe. We’ve seen how dis/information and partisanship create gale-like forces that can impact major global events.

If this isn’t a tipping point, I’m not sure what is.

I’m confident that engaging friends and colleagues in the library field around these topics will help the public stay safe online. It’s critically important that the right to privacy, for example, is guaranteed to all Americans, not just the rich and powerful.

My goals for the project include:

  • Create fun and engaging ways to learn about privacy, security, information evaluation, and the technical infrastructure that supports the web
  • Continue to work with the NYC / Westchester library community to expand Mozilla’s impressive curriculum to best suit librarians and their communities
  • Find ways to demonstrate to the larger public that libraries are a go-to resource for web literacy topics / test badging as a possible route for this
  • Become a better facilitator and instruction designer

Seeing these ideas infused into the citizens of metropolitan New York would be an ideal outcome for this project, and I’m looking forward to having some fun learning alongside library staff while we figure out how to get there.