Punch Jackson Award of Excellence presented to Chinook Arch Regional Library System
The Library Association of Alberta has awarded Chinook Arch the Punch Jackson Award of Excellence for its digital literacy program. The award recognizes excellence in service, program, or public relations/advocacy achievement in library service in Alberta.
Over a period of three years Chinook Arch offered digital literacy training through member libraries in rural communities. This project was funded by the Digital Literacy Exchange Program (DLEP) through Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada. Classes began in March 2019 and concluded in March 2022.
The program consisted of seven classes, each being offered twice at 30 participating member libraries. Of course, in early 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic drastically changed how these classes were offered. The program, however, remained popular when offered online via Zoom. The pandemic also saw the development of participant packs for distribution to class participants via their libraries.
“Digital equity was the initial focus of the program, with in-person classes designed to increase rural Albertan’s participation in the digital economy,” explains Lisa Weekes, Associate Director for Chinook Arch. “With the pandemic, the program moved online. Participant packs were also distributed to the library sites, allowing additional coverage of social and wellness topics including seniors’ isolation and wellbeing, cyber scams, and youth digital citizenship. This multi-pronged delivery method was so successful we see it as a path forward in future program development.”
The results of this 3-program include:
- 353 classes
- 679 live participants
- 2,022 information packs distributed for independent/at-home learners
- 24,836 kilometres travelled across the Chinook Arch southwest Alberta service region
The program was well-received by member library staff and community members alike. Please see the additional pages below for more program statistics, as well as participant feedback.
“We knew at once in Pincher Creek that this training was important to our patrons,” says Janice Day, former Pincher Creek Municipal Library Manager. “Even though it fit with our plan of service, it was training that we had not been able to provide due to lack of staff capacity. Chinook Arch staff saw an opportunity to help out local residents and created a program that was well-received. This program was a true gift to the residents of rural southwestern Alberta.”
Be sure to check out the publicly accessible digital literacy instructional videos and workbooks on the Chinook Arch website: https://chinookarch.ca/services/fundamental-digital-literacy-skills-program
Please see the Library Association of Alberta’s press release regarding the award here: https://bit.ly/CA_PunchJacksonAward2022