Partnering with Enoch Pratt—and Beyond

Julie Slivka | UMD Extension - March 7, 2024

UMD Extension and the INFO College partner to bring digital literacy to all Marylanders

Photo of people in a classroom setting at the Enoch Pratt Library in Baltimore, receiving training

Inaugural digital literacy training for trainers at the Enoch Pratt Library in Baltimore

On February 22, 2024 in Baltimore City, University of Maryland Extension’s (UME) Marylanders Online program, created in partnership with the University of Maryland (UMD) College of Information Studies (INFO), launched the first-ever training session with the Internal Training Team at Enoch Pratt Free Library.

The inaugural session of this train-the-trainer program took place at the Enoch Pratt Library in Baltimore and is the first of a series of 10 in-person workshops custom-developed for digital navigators, peer navigators, PC instructors, and public-serving staff from the Enoch Pratt Library. These live sessions work in tandem with the 10-module online courses also developed by UME, called the Pratt Adventure curriculum. Together, these courses make up Pratt Adventure and Beyond, and are one example of the many Give Help resources that UME Marylanders Online offers.

The training event at Enoch Pratt marks a meaningful milestone for the Marylanders Online curriculum team. The Pratt curriculum was created from the ground up, building each component from scratch by leveraging the team’s expertise and collaboration.

This partnership also reflects Enoch Pratt Free Library’s mission to provide equal access to information and services that empower, enrich, and enhance the quality of life for all. Regina Paige, MS-LDT, Manager of Internal IT Training at Enoch Pratt Free Library and State Library Resource Center commented, “The Pratt Library and the University of Maryland Extension partnership exemplifies everything Pratt’s mission embodies. From fostering collaboration to digital inclusion, this partnership has allowed us to empower our staff with digital access knowledge and the opportunity to serve in a greater capacity within and throughout the communities in Baltimore.”

“It is immensely satisfying for our Marylanders Online team to work with the original Digital Navigators in our society, the libraries, to bring digital literacy to every member of their community. We are so thrilled about our partnership with the Enoch Pratt Library,” shared Dr. Mega Subramaniam, Professor and Associate Dean at the INFO College.

While the current focus of the program is centered around Pratt Library, there are broader aspirations at play. The program holds promise for extending beyond Baltimore as these certified trainers are then able to return to their respective communities and deliver the curriculum locally. This curriculum therefore has the potential for greater scalability, extending impact by fostering broader community engagement and ultimately benefiting many communities across the state.

Much like the Talk, Text and Train series partnership, graduates of the Pratt Beyond curriculum will receive certificates of completion, and the partners are exploring digital badging and offering continuing education credits (CEUs) in the future. Stay tuned for future exciting updates on the collaboration between UME Marylanders Online and the Enoch Pratt Free Library.