ODL Resources to help meet Edge benchmarks
Review the Stress Free Action Plan for easy-to-implement action plan items. This document is designed for smaller libraries who might be overwhelmed with recommendations (essentially assessment items you answered “no” to).
Could You Have Said Yes? When reviewing results from the first Edge Assessment for Oklahoma public libraries, ODL staff noticed that many libraries answered “no” to some benchmark questions when they probably could have answered “yes.” Find out which Edge questions you can answer with “yes.”
The EBSCOhost and Britannica educational databases are provided free to all public libraries in the state through the Oklahoma Department of Libraries’ electronic library, Digital Prairie. Federal funding for this project is provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. EBSCOhost includes the user-friendly Explora for students, extensive general reference resources, plus information covering consumer health, small business development, home improvement, and much more. Get instructions on how to sign up for EBSCOhost and Britannica and view the tutorials/training page.
Linking to EBSCOhost on your library’s website will assist your library in fulfilling the requirements for these Edge benchmarks:
- 2.1.1b The library selects and organizes online resources for small business development and entrepreneurship
- 5.1.1a Library users are able to consult a selection of online resources to learn about medical conditions, procedures and prescriptions, and wellness
Linking to EBSCOhost will completely satisfy the requirements for these Edge benchmarks:
- 5.1.1b Library users are able to consult medical databases through the library website
- 3.1.1b Users take advantage of online library resources that guide them to online legal research or legal assistance.
The ODL website program can provide your library with a resource-rich website, necessary for implementing many Edge benchmarks. Visit with ODL consultant Melissa Askew to learn how she can help you get a website up and running.
“Edge helped us get outside the box as we looked at opportunities and needs. The Edge benchmarks have become part of our culture for planning and decision making about library investments. We have emphasized the importance of the benchmarks and measuring outcomes not just for the library but for all local government services. Edge has been a very powerful learning tool.”
—City Manager Sereniah Breland, Guthrie, OK
Digital Literacy Training and Curriculum
These sites offer self-paced online learning for your library patrons. You can also use the tutorials as a basis for curriculum in instructor-led classes at your library. Benchmark 1.1 Classes or instruction on digital skills and Benchmark 1.2 Individual help for digital services.
- DigitalLearn.org, from the Public Library Association, is an online hub for digital literacy training—a collection of self-directed tutorials on basic skills, such as using a computer, navigating a web site, developing a resume, and more. Modules are video-based with narration, 6 to 22 minutes long, written in plain language and often at an elementary to middle school reading level. Be sure to click on Tools and Resources for Trainers for instructor guides, activity sheets and more.
- GCFLearnFree.org is a completely free site that offers tutorials on essential skills needed to live and work in the 21st century. GCFLearnFree.org offers more than 180 topics in the form of lessons, videos, and games, from using Microsoft Office and email to reading, math, and more. Also available in Spanish and Portuguese.
- Applied Digital Skills, from Google for Education, provides training modules that can be used to teach everyday tasks, develop job readiness, and manage projects, using Google tools: Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Calendar, Gmail, etc.
- The Generations Online Easy Tablet Help for Seniors is a free app (Android and iOS) expressly for older adults who are brand new to tablets and the Internet. The app guides the user through hands-on, interactive, step-by-step instructions to develop basic skills for using email, conducting web searches, watching YouTube videos, texting, making video calls, and more. Libraries can also sign up for a free PC computer class.
- Mozilla.org offers free and open source tools and resources to teach learners how to read, write, and participate on the web. Teaching materials are available for a range of topics, including web literacy basics, coding, protecting your data, and more.
- Microsoft Office 365 Training Center provides free tutorials on how to use their products, including Word, Excel, Publisher and Access. Training courses are organized by product, then by skill level.
- Tech Training for the Public from the Colorado State Library provides materials to teach computer classes in your library. Lesson plans, outlines, handouts, and activities are available for a wide variety of technology topics.
- Tech Guide Handouts from the New York Public Library website offer tutorials on a variety of tech subjects, from computers to Microsoft Office to job seeking.
The curriculum below provides you with everything you need to teach a class in your library on using online health and wellness resources. Benchmark 5.1.1c Take classes, at least quarterly, on using online health and wellness resources, including electronic health care
- This MedlinePlus training curriculum (DOC and PDF) is designed to teach your library patrons how to find answers to their health questions using the reliable, easy-to-understand consumer health website, MedlinePlus. This training is modified from Helping Older Adults Search for Health Information Online: A Toolkit for Trainers from the National Institute on Aging, which is no longer available online.
Other resources to help meet Edge benchmarks
- WebJunction Competency Index for the Library Field, a comprehensive guide that features staff technology competencies for all aspects of the library. Benchmark 9 Technology Planning, Policies and Availability, and Benchmark 10 Staff Digital Expertise
- Consumer Health Toolkit for Library Staff from the California State Library and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Pacific Southwest Region. Benchmark 5 Health
- Tips for Using Public Wi-Fi Networks, from the Federal Trade Commission. Benchmark 1 Digital Skills
- Community Engagement Ideas checklist, from Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Benchmark 8 Relationships with Community Leaders
- The ALA United for Library Advocacy site offers a guide to develop strategies to motivate your community to support the library. Benchmark 7 Leadership
- Learn how to embed technology into your programming, promote digital learning, train and support staff in using technology, assess technology and devices, and more in this Afterschool Tech Toolkit. Benchmark 1 Digital Skills, Benchmark 10 Staff Digital Literacy
- Internet2’s Toward Gigabit Libraries Toolkit (DOC) funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is designed for small, rural, and tribal libraries with limited information technology (IT) support. The goal is to improve and evolve library staff understanding and interaction with the library’s broadband connection and services. Benchmark 9 Technology Planning, Policies and Availability
- The New Jersey State Library commissioned the Librarian’s Disaster Planning and Community Resiliency Guidebook and Workbook to help libraries across the country to be better prepared in times of crises. These resources will help make your library more resilient so that you can return to operations quickly and help speed the recovery of your community. TechSoup with the Center for Disaster Philanthropy developed a guide to IT disaster planning and recovery that includes a detailed guide, planning worksheets and a workshop presentation. Benchmark 9.1.4 Processes to provide technology services to the community in the event of a disaster or other community emergency
Find free online training
- Training at WebJunction, a program of OCLC Research, is available to all libraries to use, regardless of size, type or location.
- Techsoup for Libraries is a project of TechSoup, a 501c3 nonprofit devoted to making technology and technology education available and affordable to nonprofits and libraries all over the world.
- Infopeople is an LSTA grant project providing continuing education and professional development opportunities to library staff in and outside the state of California.
- National Network of Libraries of Medicine provides free training for members (membership is free for libraries).
- The You Can Do I.T. webinars from Texas State Library and Archives Commission cover the essential basics of network technology, hardware and software, and security systems.
- Free online CE and training classes calendar (as well as in person classes in Texas) updates each week. From the Texas State Library and Archives Commission Library Development & Networking Division.
- CSL In Session is an online learning series from the Colorado State Library. The series is made up of free hour-long virtual classes on a broad range of library-related topics delivered about once a month.