Open Group and Ervet in the COLIBLITE project: helping libraries address the digital literacy of disadvantaged children

On 30 Nov - 1 Dec 2017 Open Group attended the kick-off meeting of the new COLIBLITE project, hosted by Mira Media in Utrecht (NL).

COLIBLITE stands for "COmmunity LIBraries and digital LITEracy skills for migrant and low-educated families' children". The project is funded under Erasmus+ by the Dutch National Authority and will last for 36 months until August 2020.

COLIBLITE will promote the collaboration among libraries and local administrations, schools, community centres, youth-work associations and parents to develop awareness and educational activities on digital citizenship and 21st century skills. The main target are children (4-11 y.o.) and teenagers (12-16 y.o.) from disadvantaged families with a migrant background and other disadvantaged families. These young people are often found lacking educational support to develop these new key competences. Schools only started addressing them recently and so-called “digital parenting” is a new challenge for everybody, even more so for disadvantaged parents. The risk is thus to create new forms of digital divide, further hampering disadvantaged youngsters’ educational and future employment opportunities.

COLIBLITE aims in the first place to identify stakeholders who may already be working on these topics and are willing to act together on them at local level: in particular, schools and libraries, for after-school time activities. The project will then inform and train interested teachers, library staff and volunteers in the neighborhood to engage them in educational initiatives with children and teenagers. Parents will also be involved at different stages.

COLIBLITE's coordinator is Utrecht Central Library  supported by Mira Media. In Utrecht also the neighborhood broker Me'Kaar is involved. The other European partners are in the UK (Migrant Resource Centre) and Romania: Active Watch, the Romanian National Association of Public Libraries and the Gymnasium school 117 in Bucharest.

In Italy, ALL DIGITAL member Open Group will organise the training of librarians (in Modena and Bologna) and the educational activities with children in Modena, in collaboration with the Municipality (associate partner). The vocational education and training school Fondazione Aldini Valeriani in Bologna will train and engage its students (15-18 y.o., mostly 1st and 2nd generation migrants) to act as tutors-mentors in digital projects with younger children in the Navile neighborhood. These will be identified with another COLIBLITE partner (primary and lower secondary school Istituto Comprensivo 15 in Navile), the local libraries and other organisations. All Digital member ERVET plays a coordinating and steering function for the activities in Modena and Bologna.

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