Your library and digital citizenship

Student using a laptop in the classroom

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Your school library and library staff are central to developing students' digital citizenship through the collection and services offered.

A coordinated approach to digital citizenship

The development of digital citizenship needs a coordinated, school-wide approach. Often an individual or team with the requisite knowledge and skills to do so leads this. Your school library staff are well-placed to be central in this process.

Developing digital citizenship

Your library collection supporting digital citizenship

Developing a collection of digital resources in your school library supports digital citizenship. Aim to provide:

  • quality, curated digital content from reliable sources
  • digital resources that have a variety of perspectives and voices
  • learning resources that individuals can use to develop their digital citizenship.

Your library's digital collection

Teaching and learning resources

Your library services supporting digital citizenship

Your school library can support digital citizenship by providing a range of services. Enable all students to engage with the digital environment in meaningful ways by:

  • having key information about digital citizenship within your library's online presence
  • promoting digital citizenship as students access and use any digital resources in your collection
  • providing equitable access to current and emergent digital technologies in your library to address digital inclusion
  • hosting learning events, surveys, debates, or competitions about digital citizenship to raise awareness and promote it in your school.

Library staff supporting digital citizenship

You are well-suited to be a champion of digital citizenship within a school community, as you:

  • are an information specialist who can develop key skills of digital citizenship
  • have knowledge across the curriculum and pedagogies of the school
  • have knowledge of students, educators, and the community, so know what digital citizenship can mean in the unique context of your school.

School librarians have always embraced the responsibility for teaching information literacy — critical skills for locating, evaluating and using information — but children also need to know the literacy of digital citizenship — how to conduct themselves safely and responsibly in the digital world.
Boni Hamilton

School library staff can be actively involved by:

  • helping develop and implement a school-wide digital citizenship programme
  • collaborating with educators to integrate digital citizenship into their classroom practice
  • providing direct instruction and guidance to students on elements of digital citizenship
  • providing targeted professional development to educators
  • being an advocate and leader for digital citizenship within the school and its community.

The school’s teacher-librarian plays a critical role in making digital citizenship connections in partnership with teaching colleagues, and in the library’s information and technology rich physical and virtual learning environments.

Library and digital citizenship frameworks

There are correlations between principles of digital citizenship and the school library. Some frameworks that can help you explore these connections are:

Find out more

Library lessons in digital citizenship — an overview of how the school library can support digital citizenship in the curriculum.

Cura personalis: The school library through an Ignatian lens by Gayle Bogel in 'Knowledge Quest', volume 40, issue 5, May/June 2012.