My next two blog posts will be a two part series looking at a local college library and a Girl Scout troop in Shiprock New Mexico, how they’re similar, how they’re different and how the Digital Inclusion Pilot can help them bridge the gap for their students and the community as a whole. I’ll finish on a note for the sustainability of this pilot beyond its termination in February.

I may have mentioned the Dine’ College Library, Senator John Pinto Library, up in Shiprock New Mexico, and not for no reason. I’ll be honest, I love this place! Soon I’ll do a two part series on what I have learned so far from outreach, but suffice it to say a lot of the best case scenario factors I will be talking about I can take from the three events I have done at this location so far.

I also mention this location because it is relevant to the device lending aspect of this pilot. Much of its student body comprises of commuters that drive incredible distances to be a Dine’ College Warrior (I’m proud to say I have a koozie and a lanyard. I use both. Go Warriors!) but a good amount also live in Shiprock New Mexico. One fantastic feature of this college in Shiprock is its library, with an impressive computer lab, and decent hours to accommodate its student body. One thing it is lacking however, an up to date suite of laptops to lend its student body to use after hours. Because we have had such a good relationship with the library we have recently entered into talks with college personnel to bring them an Explora Discovery Lab.

The discovery lab will consist of 10 laptops. These devices will be equipped with native digital literacy resources and suggested websites to improve digital literacy, along with sites to improve health and career literacy as well. Along with these devices we’ll be sending two Hotspots for students who live in the relevant service area who don’t have home internet to use to complete assignments after library hours are over.

We know that dropping devices off in a vacuum has dubious results, so along with these devices we’re planning on several trainings, check in’s and promotional events to make sure these devices are having an optimum effect. So far we are planning on having a training for the staff to understand, troubleshoot and facilitate the laptops and hotspots for the lab. We’re planning on using an evaluation tool for lab patrons to fill out, guided by the library staff, as well as an evaluation tool filled out by the library staff themselves. We’re planning on holding a promotional Family Science Event to inform library patrons about the lab and to show off a few digital literacy features of the devices. Lastly we’ll be coming back each month to get feedback, and to see that the lab is still effective, and to see what we could do to help optimize its impact.

For my next post I’m actually kind of excited to tell you about a unique opportunity for us to work with the troops in Shiprock. No, not those troops, I’m talking about those quick witted, science minded, inquisitive, cookie peddling seeds of the future, yes, I mean a troop of Girl Scouts. Stay tuned.