National initiative launched by Canadian public libraries with Media Awareness Network, the Canadian Library Association and Bell Canada
OTTAWA, February 20, 2003 – Public libraries across Canada today launched the country’s first Web Awareness Day to draw attention to the importance of equipping parents with tools to help young people become safe, wise and responsible Internet users. Web Awareness Day is an initiative of the Canadian public library community, in partnership with the Canadian Library Association (CLA), Media Awareness Network (MNet) and Bell Canada.
Under the theme Parenting the Net Generation – it’s not just by the book anymore©, public libraries are promoting Internet literacy and MNet’s resources for parents through a variety of initiatives, including hosting public workshops and open-houses, distributing resource materials for parents and kids, launching joint initiatives with community groups, and announcing upcoming Web awareness programming.
MNet Internet literacy resources for parents available through public libraries include:
The Internet – For Parents
Internet Checklist for Parents (PDF)
Internet Checklist for Teens (13-17) (PDF)
Internet Checklist for Kids (9-12) (PDF)
Speaking at the National Library of Canada, Wendy Newman, President of the Canadian Library Association (CLA) said, “Parents are increasingly turning to their public library for expertise and information in the new area of digital or Internet literacy. It’s a challenge that public libraries are embracing with enthusiasm and with Web Awareness Day we’re telling parents that they’re not alone. Parents need to know that public libraries, in collaboration with Internet literacy experts such as Media Awareness Network (MNet) and companies like Bell Canada, are ready to support parents and communities in teaching young Canadians Internet literacy skills for the 21st Century.”
“Libraries were among the first public institutions to recognize that the Internet is a medium for which literacy skills need to be developed, just as we do for books, television or films,” said Jan D’Arcy, MNet’s Executive Director. “Web Awareness Day demonstrates the enormous commitment of public libraries to help young people develop the critical thinking skills they need to use the Internet effectively.”
“We are proud to partner with MNet and the CLA to kick-off Web Awareness Day and to promote practical Internet literacy resources for parents in communities from coast-to-coast,” said Sheridan Scott, Chief Regulatory Officer, Bell Canada. “As Canada’s leading Internet Service Provider, Bell Canada is working with MNet to support parents in educating their children on how to responsibly enjoy the wealth of information available online today.”
MNet’s research with 1,000 parents and 6,000 students demonstrates that parents have very little understanding of what their kids are doing online. For example, while parents thought their children were mostly using the Internet for school projects, the study found that homework ranked only eighth with kids on their list of Internet usage. The same research found that more than a third of nine-to-10-year-olds are alone “most of the time” when using the Internet; and more than half of 13-to-14-year-olds surf alone. Of those who participated in MNet’s parent survey, roughly half agreed that their children knew more about the Internet than they did.
For additional information contact:
Media Awareness Network
Canadian Library Association
Fax: 613-563-9895 ext. 306
The Canadian Library Association (CLA) is the national English-language association representing the interests of all types of libraries and library workers. It was founded in 1946 and is made up of 2,800 members across five constituent divisions: Canadian Association of College and University Libraries, Canadian Association of Public Libraries, Canadian, Association of Special Libraries and Information Services, Canadian Library Trustees Association, and Canadian School Library Association. Comprehensive information about the Canadian Library Association and its programs and services is available on the CLA web site: www.cla.ca
The Media Awareness Network (MNet) is a non-profit Canadian organization whose mission is to support media and Internet literacy education and its widest possible integration into Canadian schools, homes and communities. MNet’s aim is to help people, particularly children and youth, to develop an informed and critical understanding of the nature of the media, the techniques used in creating media products, and the media’s role and influence within society. MNet’s work is funded by public and private sector partners who include: Bell Canada, Rogers Cable Inc., AOL Canada, Microsoft Canada, BCE Inc., CanWest Global, CTV Inc., CHUM Television, TELUS, A&E Television Networks, Craig Broadcast Systems, Canadian Recording Industry Association, Canadian Heritage, Health Canada, Human Resources Development Canada, and Industry Canada. For more information about MNet and its media literacy programs, visit www.media-awareness.ca
Bell Canada, Canada’s national leader for communications in the Internet world, provides connectivity to residential and business customers through wired and wireless voice and data communications, high speed and wireless Internet access, IP-broadband services, e-business solutions and local and long distance phone services. Bell Canada is owned by BCE Inc. For more information please visit www.bell.ca