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Ottawa, ON, February 19, 2004—The Canadian Library Association (CLA), in partnership with the Media Awareness Network (MNet) and Bell Canada, is proud to proclaim February 19, 2004, as the second annual Web Awareness Day, a day designed to build public awareness of Internet literacy and of the role being played by Canada's public libraries.
Under the theme “Parenting the Net Generation” public libraries will use Web Awareness Day as a positive opportunity to deliver the message that they are ready to support parents and communities in teaching young Canadians literacy skills for the 21st century. In the words of CLA Executive Director Don Butcher, “We are very proud of the leadership role that our public libraries are playing in promoting Internet literacy and we invite parents to come in and discover the practical resources that we are making available for them and their children.”
According to research by the Media Awareness Network, 99% of children between the ages of 9 and 17 have used the Internet. Most of this activity takes place at home, with little or no parental involvement. Over two-thirds of children surveyed said that they “never or rarely” speak to their parents about their online activities. “We see public libraries as a key partner in providing public education on Internet literacy to parents, community leaders, and to young people. Everyone recognizes the challenges that parents face today in educating their children on Internet safety. The role that libraries are playing means that parents are not alone with this task.” says Jan D’Arcy, Executive Director, Media Awareness Network.
“As Canada’s leading Internet service provider, Bell Canada is committed to educating parents and their children on how to responsibly enjoy the wealth of online information that is available to them,” says Pierre Blouin, Group President-Consumer Markets, Bell Canada. ”We have a unique cooperation between the three organizations - one public, and two not-for-profit - in developing this initiative.”
To celebrate Web Awareness Day libraries around the country will promote Web Awareness through open houses, workshops on safe Internet use and other special events, as well as handing out information pamphlets and other materials for parents.
"I congratulate the Canadian Library Association and its partners for initiating Web Awareness Day, now in its second year" says National Librarian Roch Carrier. "I applaud their efforts in ensuring that today's young people are well prepared to meet the challenges in their quest for knowledge."
For further information about Web Awareness Day activities or for any questions, please contact the Canadian Library Association at 613-232-9625 or visit its Website at www.cla.ca.
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