SOUTHERN LITERACY COMMUNICATION CONSORTIUM REGION II HUB QUARTERLY REPORT TO THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR LITERACY
October 1 - December 31, 1996
Project Staff: JoAnn Martin, Clint Williams, Phebe Mertes, and Shirley Ferguson
Texas Literacy Resource Center.
Mary Ziegler and Brenda Bell - Tennessee Center for Literacy Studies.
Project Summary for Quarter 1
New staff added to a new year
Tennessee has a new director of the Center for Literacy Studies, Mary Ziegler, along with a new staff person, Limin Mu, to help with this project. The Southern Literacy Communication Consortium has added Shirley Ferguson as a full-time librarian for this project. Several of the state literacy resource centers have new directors and staff. Some of these changes are due to the loss of state and federal funding. A few people have retired or relocated to other states. These changes in key personnel have created a challenge for everyone involved in the coordination of services for the SLCC project.
SLCC Training Update
The original grant called for training to occur in the first quarter of the grant. The National Institute for Literacy wanted the SLCC to wait until the regional hubs had met for planning the new years activities. The regional hubs meeting was scheduled to coincide with the AAACE meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina. At this same time the southern regional hub arranged a meeting with the southern states directors attending the conference to determine the best time to schedule training in the first quarter. December
8 - 10, 1996, was determined to be the best time to start training before the end of the first quarter. All states were to meet in College Station, Texas, at the Texas A&M University campus for training.
The first training session included updates from each state present, an update from NIFL Year 2 plan, cataloging issues, Webmaster training, Web maintenance, and marketing SLCC. Seven of the fourteen states attended the training. Another session will be scheduled later in the year.
This year each state will have more responsibility in creating a regional web presence.
Some funding is available to accomplish this. They will also be required to train local providers on how they and their students can use LINCS to enhance their adult literacy programs.
The interface for a card catalog search of each state was installed in October, 1996, at the SLCC website, and is continuing to undergo refinement. Each state is being asked to submit a copy of their material collections catalog to the southern regional hub. A study of the compatibility of the different databases will be done to determine the best methods for making all southern regions states catalogs accessible over the World Wide Web.
Member states decided that a librarian was needed to catalog, convert, and maintain the proposed 112 documents that will be submitted by the member states in the southern region. The technical assistants in Texas and Tennessee will also assist in this task. The "virtual library" already has two documents.
Goals and Activities for Quarter 1
Goal 1. Broaden the literacy communitys access to LINCS
A) Training for local programs
1) Broad-based training
Introduction to the Internet and WWW tools, different services available through LINCS, efficient and effective ways of retrieving literacy related materials, different ways that LINCS can be used for communicating with others, and innovative uses of WWW tools that can help teachers, tutors and trainers
2) Preparing training materials
The Texas Literacy Resource Center prepared four Powerpoint presentations that were used in a three day workshop in Houston, Texas. Curriculum is being developed around these presentations as a tool for each state to use in training.
B) Training at state level
1) Creating and maintaining homepages,
2) Maintaining a server,
3) The duties of a webmaster,
4) Developing and adapting materials for use on-line
Training related to these goals took place during the December training in College Station. This is being scheduled with each state to provide the maximum benefit of the State Resource Center. Training and technical assistance is being provided by SLCC staff as needed.
C) Technical assistance
1) Hardware and software installation and maintenance
2) Using Internet tools to index and to create mechanisms that will automate most aspects of LINCS homepage
This occurred during this quarter and will continue throughout the grant period.
Goal 2. Enhancing the content of information on LINCS
A) Collecting quality information
B) Developing a specialized collection
C) Maintaining a " must have" list of resources on the hub homepage
1) Whats New,
2) Regional and state ABE and Adult Literacy Calendar of events
3) Links to NIFL Literacy Forums/listservs,
4) Links to the "Top Level" search on NIFL and other regional hubs
5) Links to LINCS searchable databases,
6) Friendly feedback form that provides easy communication to website manager
7) Link to Tom Elands
Each state has been given a copy of these topics to be included in their website. Many already have these links as a result of adopting the southern regional hub design.
D) Encouraging member states to maintain "MUST HAVE" lists of resources
1) State profile demographics
State population, education levels of adults, NALS state data where available, # of adults without HS diploma, # of adults with adult basic education and literacy needs, # of ABE programs, # of adult literacy programs/projects, # of ESL classes, local expenditures per pupil, employment by occupation, per capita annual income, unemployment rate, percent below poverty level.
These demographics will be collected and maintained at the regional hub. Some states have already included these figures in their website.
2) Searchable database of unpublished materials
3) Local literacy resource directory
Each state has been called and asked to locate their adult literacy provider list which will be made searchable at the southern regional hub.
4) Statewide and local program calendar of events and link to the hub for regional events
The regional hub already maintains a list of regional literacy events.
5) Whats new: identifying changes on the site
6) Link to NIFL forum/listservs and any regional listservs
7) Link to "Top Level" search ( at the regional level )
This is already available on the southern regional hub website.
8) Link to searchable databases ( at the regional level )
The searchable database of materials became operational in October, 1996 with the Texas Center for Adult Literacy and Learning collection. As states submit materials for the "virtual library" they will be added to the regional collection. The Texas Literacy Resource Center will be receiving a minimum of 112 materials this year. Each state is in the process of submitting their material collection catalog to be added to the regional database. The Z39.50 interface, due in the near future from the National Institute for Literacy, will provide easier access to state adult literacy libraries maintained at the state level.
9) Link to key agencies at the state ( for interagency work )
10) Links to local programs ( for resources for teachers and adult learners )
Several states have included links to programs that have their own webpages. This is also being used to promote literacy in the states that have them.
E) Exercise quality control
F) Monitor LINCS content
Goal 3. Marketing LINCS
A) Developing mechanisms for ongoing publicity
A brochure has been produced and other materials are being collected for a formal presentation of the SLCC project.
B) Promoting LINCS through partnership
Mississippi has used the relationship with other southern states to obtain another technology grant to train teachers and students.
Goal 4. Collaboration
A) Developing active partnerships with agencies - especially state educational agencies at the regional hub level.
The Texas Literacy Resource Center has had an active partnership with the state education agency. Two the Texas Education Agency projects are a part of the Texas Center for Adult Literacy and Learning.
B) Helping members states to develop active state-level partnerships, especially with state education agencies.
C) Promoting LINCS homepages as multi-agency resources
Goal 5. Assessment of program effectiveness
A) Assessing LINCS impact on users
1) A periodic, highly specific survey of what stakeholders do online, what is accomplished, who is served, what areas could use more attention.
2) Interviews with a sample of staff and participants in local programs to be conducted over a 12-18 month period,
3) Using new web tools to collect information quarterly on what pages are used most
B) Evaluating the effectiveness of the lead sites role in working with member states
C) An assessment of the lead sites effectiveness will be conducted at the end of the grant.
Goal 6. Management
A) Expand roles of member states
Each state is being asked to submit information that is critical to their success to reside at the hub level. More decision making and input has come from the member states.
B) Continuing support for the member states by:
1) developing projects with member sites to enrich content and presentation of resources on their homepages,
Several states have made materials available online to share with other states and thus are removing obstacles and duplication of materials and services
2) helping member states keep their pages up-to-date and follow LINCS guidelines and standards,
This has been started and will continue throughout the life of the grant.
3) helping member states explore other sources of financial support and market their achievements
The southern hub is meeting by teleconference to discuss their needs to go forward as a regionally fund project to benefit the states.
C) Enhancing communications and resource sharing
1) develop mechanisms to assess the expertise of member states
2) providing platforms for exchange and encouraging sharing of experiences and challenges among member states,
3) keeping member states up-to-date about other hubs achievements and news,
4) providing appropriate recognition and publicity for achievement
Center for Literacy Studies, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
600 Henley Street, Suite 312, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996-4135