Call for Advisors: Media Literacy for Adults: Architecture of the Internet

The American Library Association's Public Programs Office is seeking six librarian advisors to support the creation of adult media literacy programming resources focused on how the often-overlooked structural parts of the internet affect the information people see and find online.

ALA PPO will collaborate with advisors to create a programming guide focused on providing ready-made resources that libraries can use to implement adult programming in their communities that will include program models, tools, templates, reading lists, and references to existing research and frameworks. Application instructions are below.

Submissions are requested by November 9, 2022.

About the Project

U.S. adults are in critical need of media literacy, specifically access to materials, tools, and opportunities to understand how to evaluate the validity of online information that is pushed to them in their social feeds or found through searches. Media Literacy for Adults: Architecture of the Internet will specifically center on creating program models and tools focused on the architecture of the internet. It will also build the capacity of libraries to lead efforts that improve community well-being by equipping them with the tools needed to help adults better assess the information they find and see online. As a result, adults in communities will be better able to determine reliable information online to make informed decisions about civic participation, their health, etc. ALA expects that this project will deepen and enhance conversations, research, trainings, and collaborations between libraries, media organizations, and institutions active in the media literacy realm. The resulting project deliverables have the potential to expand and deepen current practices around media literacy education in the field by providing program templates, service models, and collection ideas for libraries to implement in their communities.

Advisor Opportunity

ALA will select six project advisors to participate in this project during a two-year term (December 2022 – July 2024).

Working with ALA Public Programs Office staff, the advisors will research and write a programming guide that will be shared, free of charge, with U.S. libraries. To do so, the advisors will work together to create content that will (1) inspire library workers to host programs on the architecture of the internet; and (2) provide library workers with information on the concept and why it is important as well as activity ideas, program templates, bibliographies, and other resources to help them execute their programs seamlessly.

Advisors will be selected for their experience in research, writing, and developing library programming.

Advisors will:

  • Participate in quarterly virtual meetings with ALA PPO staff and the rest of the advisory group, beginning December 2022 and ending July 2024.
  • Serve as thought leaders for the project and its outputs.
  • Co-create a programming guide in collaboration with ALA PPO by providing input on direction, researching material, and writing content.
  • Act as subject matter experts who suggest additional resources.
  • Serve as webinar presenters to disseminate information within the programming guide to the field.
  • Serve as presenters on a national, regional, and state level by seeking opportunities to share the work of the project at conferences, meetings, and other convenings.
  • Peer-edit the work of fellow advisors and offer constructive feedback.
  • Be receptive to constructive edits and feedback from fellow advisors, Public Programs Office staff, and members of ALA’s Public and Cultural Programs Advisory Committee.
  • Assist with sharing the project deliverables through your library systems, state libraries, or other communications channels.
  • Be available to provide feedback to ALA staff, as needed, by phone (rare) or email (common).

Each advisor will receive:

  • A $5,000 honorarium, payable in two installments at the beginning and end of the project term.
  • Acknowledgment in the finished programming guide.

How to Apply:

To apply, please prepare the following materials. Applications must be submitted electronically in a single PDF document that includes:

  1. A brief statement addressing your interest in the position (600 words max). Please provide links or attachments that demonstrate prior experience with research, writing, and/or program development.
  2. Your resume
  3. One writing sample (3 pages max; if the document is longer than 3 pages, please send a portion)

The single PDF must be submitted via email by 9 a.m. Central Time on November 9, 2022 to Meghan Gieseker at Questions may be directed to Meghan at the same email address.

All applicants will be notified of their status by November 14th.