The new Digital Navigators Toolkit is now available at urbanlibraries.org. Developed by Salt Lake City Public Library, the toolkit provides a framework that libraries of any size can use to assist those in their community with limited internet access and experience with computers. The model combines personalized teleservices and one-on-one support to people who are at the beginning stage of using technology to accomplish personal and career-related activities online.
Since Fall 2020, the Urban Libraries Council has partnered with SLCPL and the National Digital Inclusion Alliance to support a 10-month pilot of the Digital Navigators model in Salt Lake City, and to share lessons learned across the library field. The Digital Navigators Toolkit builds directly on findings and successes from the SLCPL pilot, which supported 585 community members living in traditionally under-resourced ZIP codes.
“Per ULC’s Digital Equity Leadership Brief, one of the most critical lessons we’ve learned from the pandemic is that digital inclusion service models will always fall short if they rely solely on people accessing the online world only at the public library,” said ULC President & CEO Susan Benton. “The new Digital Navigators Toolkit offers a critical roadmap for assisting people in getting online and building their skills from their homes. This model is especially valuable when libraries have had to close during the global pandemic.”
The new Digital Navigators Toolkit includes guidance and resources for determining community needs, training Digital Navigators, measuring and assessing progress, as well as communicating the value of a Navigator approach. This toolkit is now available at urbanlibraries.org, along with a series of ULC blogs highlighting Digital Navigators and community partners in Salt Lake City.