Ask Whatever and SeniorSurf, Finnish ways to spread media literacy
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Transcript of Ask Whatever and SeniorSurf, Finnish ways to spread media literacy
Ask Whatever and SeniorSurf, Finnish ways to spread media literacy /Ms. Tuula Haavisto, Senior Library Adviser, Helsinki , Finlandtuulah@kaapeli.fi
Mass training in mediacy by libraries?!Two ideas tested and used in Finland to reach larger groups in one time, though the individual service is the strong point of libraries
SeniorSurf, Find your way on Internet
In 2000-2002, yearly SeniorSurf campaigns were organised, to encourage elder citizens to use Internet and SMS (Short Message Sending via mobile phone). For 2003 and 2005, the campaign was refocused: it promoted ways to find the requested content from Internet. Ideological discussions among professionals about the focus of mediacy training in libraries and provisions of sponsorship
Ask whatever in radioFrom Autumn 2003, a radio program Ask whatever is run in co-operation between Helsinki City Library and YLE, the Finnish public service broadcasting company. Library staff answers all kinds of questions, sent to radio by the listeners.The radio program was based on a certain preceding development.
SeniorSurf 2000-2002 SeniorSurf was oganised by the Finnish Library Association, the idea was imported from Sweden, financing from the Ministry of EducationIt concentrated on basic skills in using new media for an age group which at that time had less guidance in accessing new IT skillsThe concrete target was to encourage citizens of the age 55+: - to get the first touch with Internet, - in the two first years, to learn to use the SMS (Short Message Sending) function of their mobile phones.
The working forms of the SeniorSurf
Lectures, personal guidance on how to use the web, Internet sources and the SMS, discussions, presentations of Internet-based services by e.g. banks and municipal officials etc. A list of web resources for the libraries: web sites offering Internet study packages or other good starting points for new-beginnersA special material to learn to use the mouse A special material presented the SMS use An extremely popular basic guide Pleasure and learning with your computer
SeniorSurf in numbers170 to 250 participating libraries / year - there are ca. 900 public library units in Finland5.000-10.000 participating people per year Individual guidance resulted less audience than programs based on lecturesNo connection between e.g. the size of the community and the participant amount; but a clear connection between the motivation in the participating library = amount of work done in the library to advertise the event
Ideological discussions questioned SeniorSurf
Two sponsors: teleoperator Sonera & mobile phone producer NokiaPaid the expensive press advertisements, test mobile phones & connection time to the participating libraries hot ideological discussion among librarians: acceptable forms of sponsorship: named mobile phones and operators should not be advertised in any form inside libraries, or the participating libraries should get a clear payment in cash on it.
Ideological discussions questioned SeniorSurf 2
SMS training in libraries: SMS is not at all a business of libraries, we should concentrate on deeper information and knowledge. If there is need to teach SMS, it is up to other institutions.For our partners, National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health, and organisations of senior citizens, SMS is first of all a potential safety equipment for elderly people - public institutions responsible to train seniors to use it - public libraries due to their easy access excellent venues to learn SMS skills - non-commercial context in public libraries; compare to a short training by a young salesman in a shop
Where did we end up? Sponsorship
Opinions of the participating libraries were collected in 2000. - 62% (133) of the participants returned the form - Majority saw that the press campaign and availability of test phones on the campaign day was a balanced price for allowing visibility to commercial enterprises in libraries for one day. - Only one of the answerers gave negative feedback, and in her own name, not on behalf of the library
The arguing also led the Min.of Education to produce a short guide for sponsorship in public libraries. The English version is available on Internet http://www.minedu.fi/minedu/culture/library/english/information.html
Where did we end up? SMSThe result of the discussion remained partly open. - The participating libraries: we took part in a mediacy enlargement project. The critics still remained: no library resources should be used for such purposes. Literacy and reading campaings should be prioritized in public libraries.
However, out of e.g. the 5-7 yearly campaigns of the Finnish Library Association, 3-4 concentrate on literacy and reading, one in mediacy (like SeniorSurf) and the rest on varying topics.
Find your way on Internet,2003 and 2005In 2003, the campaign day oriented towards a larger target audience: not-so-experienced-Internet-user adultsA narrower scope: concentrated on presenting guidance to existing Internet resources
Why the change: the SeniorSurf idea had fulfilled its purpose. Many other actors offered possibilities to this group. Seniors and Internet had even become a very fashionable topic in journals, adult education institutions and TV programs
Working forms in 2003 Link libraries, search engines, other search possibilities and basic portals of public services were presented via lectures and individual guidance A tabloid of 16 pages was disseminated, including articles, interviews and short infos on web resources 10 training days for 420 library staff members around the country: trends of the Internet development and web searching
Half-successLibrary programs from lectures for schoolchildrens' parents to e-book and local congregation web page presentations. There were ca. 3.500 participants in 150 public libraries. The feedback showed, that this time the target audience was too undefinedFeedback also suggested to create an Internet policy for Finnish public libraries. The idea is still under work.In 2004 no Internet day in librariesIn 2005, Find your way on Internet again, strongly concentrating on public web information and training of librarians
Ask whatever, the radio program
Ask about nature - since the 70s a very popular radio programme in Finland
a simple structure: listeners send questions, biologists and other specialists answer
According to this model, an idea was developed: librarians can answer questions not only in libraries and virtually, but also via the radio
Background elements in libraries The mobile service unit of Helsinki City Library: iGS, information Gas Station: the unit with its staff can be located to serve people on railway stations, shopping malls, fairs etc. a banner on the roof: Ask whatever questions can be asked and answered on-site, via phone, SMS, or e-mail all the questions and answers are saved in an open databank, which can be used via the web
From the point of view of the radio program, the iGS team is the important element. - ca. 10 professionals from different branches of the Helsinki City Library. - iGS is part of their job, not full-time - half are librarians (university education), - half library assistants (vocational or polytechnics level) - USED TO MEET PEOPLE IN NON-LIBRARY ENVIRONMENT