Collections, Programs and Services
Though work on information and digital literacy often concentrates on either adults or on teens, it is beneficial to look at both their use within the context of one another. Based on in-depth interview research with Puerto Rican and Dominican immigrant teens, parents, and families, this paper proposes that individuals’ information and technology use are grounded within an ecosystem of familial resources and beliefs that structures how they interact and orient themselves towards technology. The interviews revealed that parents and teens played an integral role in one another’s use and that the families’ varied experiences of immigration, socio-economic circumstances, and beliefs were associated with different responsibilities, competencies, and constraints that need to be understood by librarians and educators. In addition, librarians’ efforts towards improving adult and teen literacies would be more effective if they incorporated simple techniques for students to communicate their newly acquired knowledge to different types of family members—parents to children and teens, and teens and children to parents and siblings—and encouraged them to do so. In this way librarians could reach beyond the present place into the future of the community. This presentation will help fill that gap in knowledge and present strategies that can used by practitioners with their patrons.