Showcase Product: Government Sources Pathfinder
For the Government Information Sources course, the final project was to create a pathfinder on the topic of our choosing. I chose the topic “Job Searches and the Digital Divide” because it was a topic that I feel very strongly about because I come in contact with situations in that area very frequently at the public library where I work. Nearly every day, a patron comes to the library with the idea to apply for jobs online, but they do not have the knowledge to do so. These patrons have very little idea of how to actually use a computer, let alone how to search for and apply for jobs online. The rules set in place by the library dictate that employees cannot stay with a patron to walk them through what they are trying to do; all we can do is get them to whichever website they need. I wanted to create a product that would not only help teach patrons computer skills, but that would help them with their job searches as well.
I created the pathfinder in what I believe is a very simple format. The instructions are very easy to follow, and the setup makes it easy for employees to guide patrons to the site while still following the library’s guidelines. I tried to keep in mind all of the library’s patrons affected by the digital divide; this group includes all age groups, backgrounds, and education level. I attempted to make the instructions very simple and easy to follow, and I created the instructional welcome video in order to provide further instruction to the users.
Working on this product really reminded me how fortunate we are to have public access to certain technologies, but it also really emphasized just how much of a divide there really is between technology and people attempting to use it. In previous projects, I learned that the digital divide exists and although it is prominent, I had never really encountered it before, especially not to the extent that I do now.
Some changes I would make in the future are: making a better, more detailed instructional welcome video, including a broader variety of job listings, and updating the site to reflect more of the library’s information.