Bringing Web Literacy and Open Source to Libraries

Mozilla believes everyone should have access to web literacy education, and the opportunity to learn critical 21st Century skills. We also believe in open source principles: free and accessible knowledge and technology that empower individuals and catalyze learning.
It’s little surprise, then, that Mozilla holds public libraries in high esteem. They’re hubs of digital inclusion, capable of bringing people online and sparking meaningful opportunity. With libraries increasingly acting as portals to the Web, it’s critical they’re equipped with the proper tools and know-how.
Today, we’re excited to announce a new initiative —  supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) — to further empower public libraries as digital learning hubs. As part of the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program, Mozilla and the Technology and Social Change Group (TASCHA) at the University of Washington Information School will launch and pilot an open source web literacy curriculum and credentials at five libraries throughout the U.S.
weblitMozilla’s web literacy curriculum in action
Supported by a $808K grant from the IMLS, the program will provide training, tools and credentials to library staff, enabling them to better teach digital skills to patrons. The program will focus on five public library systems representing geographic, demographic and experiential diversity, with an emphasis on underserved communities. In addition to these five library systems, one school of library information studies will also be included in the project.
Our project is slated to begin October 2015. The first phase will consist of deep research on what types of resources can best empower librarians. Our second phase — beginning June 2016 — will identify the six institutions at which we’ll pilot the program. The third and final phase, implementation, will begin on December 2016.
Mozilla has a long history of working alongside libraries to unlock opportunity online, whether through our Hive Networks or free educational activities. With this project, we’re excited to take another step forward and further empower educators and libraries across the country.