While people in younger age brackets have led part or all of their lives with computers at work, school, and home, the elderly have simply not grown up with the computer and the online community. Even so, studies have shown that computer and Internet interest levels among the elderly and younger people are identical (Czaja, 1997). Social stereotyping by a younger population has assumed that the elderly have no interest in becoming wired, and the interpretation of elderly feelings of uncertainty and self consciousness concerning computer use has been interpreted as techno-phobia by the younger population. For years, the elderly population has largely been “written off” by those who could have otherwise intervened more positively.
Consultation with the librarian revealed that Mukilteo Library’s main users are the elderly and teens. Teens may have the chance to learn information literacy and information technology through their school or school libraries. However, the elderly have a very low chance to learn these skills, and moreover Mukilteo city and library have no senior centers or services for seniors in Mukilteo and the surrounding communities. Mukilteo Library serves approximately 2,000 elderly in the city of Mukilteo (U.S. Census Bureau). Although it is the responsibility of Mukilteo Library to serve not only the senior population, but the community population as well, only the senior population is relevant for the purpose of this assignment.
Mukilteo Library will design three-part training workshop which is aimed at elderly people, age 65 and older; who have had little or no previous exposure to computers and the World Wide Web. This workshop will be held in a classroom setting, in the computer lab, as will the lab portion. These courses will consist of one hour long sessions held once a week for three weeks. Throughout the three