On the basis of the results of a study of IT competences in Denmark in 2007 the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation has set aside financial means for an upgrading of the population’s IT competences.
This initiative includes i.a. the training of 60 IT mediators in 2008 and 2009 who will subsequently offer instruction to citizens who wish to learn how to use IT, e.g. Internet, e-mail, digital selfservice etc. The instruction is to be free of charge and to take place locally, e.g. in libraries or professional organisations.
Knowledge is passed on
The IT mediators are recruited from the participating partners’ own ranks, and more than half of them come from Danish public libraries. They have been trained in making the tuition easily comprehensible for people with no or just a minimum of qualifications. The IT mediators from the libraries have committed themselves to pass on their knowledge to colleagues in other libraries. This ‘unrolling’ of knowledge will take place at courses and meetings during autumn 2009 where colleague will be teaching colleague. The point of reference will be the homepage www.itformidler.dk and this is also where the IT mediators will place their teaching programmes – freely available to other instructors.
Partners in the project
Among the participants are, apart from the libraries which are i.a. represented by the Danish Agency for Libraries and Media, also education associations, unions, Local Government Denmark, Danish Association of Senior Citizens, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation and, of course, National IT and Telecom Agency, the latter being the initiator.
PR and campaign
The National IT and Telecom Agency has prepared a package with various marketing materials. During the autumn there will be various programmes on Radio Denmark – a national television channel – which will also be dealing with the subject of improved IT competences and the ‘Learn more about IT’ project.
Backing for ‘Learn more about IT’
In connection with the ‘Learn more about IT’ project the Association of Library Directors, the Danish Library Association and the Danish Union of Librarians have promised each other on behalf of the libraries that all Danish libraries will participate in the project. This means they will all take part in the campaign by marketing the ‘Learn more about IT’ project and arranging courses in IT and digital selfservice in the library.
‘Learn more about IT’ is a very important factor in directing focus towards user-education in the libraries.
Judith Benz Therkelsen
Coordinator for competence development in networks
Member of the steering committee for
‘Learn more about IT’
jbt AT vejlebib.dk
Translated by Vibeke Cranfield