Introduction xi Librarians and libraries should be involved in digital citizenship because it’s not only their mission but because they have the opportunity. Librarians have flexibility in teaching and advocating, the trust the community gives them, and the spaces to make a difference. Digital citizenship involves a variety of professions and perspectives, but what’s often lacking is the op- portunity. It’s not enough to talk and advocate for digital citizenship—you have to do it. You have to work directly with the populations you’re ad- vocating for. Librarians are on the ground doing the work and can shift norms, reach people, and play a vital role in the digital movement and guide where it will go. History of Digital Citizenship The digital citizenship movement is not owned by any one person or orga- nization. It’s grown both ground-up and sometimes top-down through edu- cators, academics, librarians, and others. There’s no “birth date” of digital citizenship, but the term began appearing in the late 1990s as more tech- nology came into classrooms. In those early days, digital citizenship was focused on access to technology and the hard skills: digital literacy. Ac- cess in the late 1990s and 2000s was significantly smaller than now. Pew Research estimates that only half of adults were online in 2000 (Anderson & Horrigan, 2016). An additional emphasis then was on the word “citizen.” Discussions by academics and policy makers were around the need for the Internet and technology to be a fully participating citizen. The 2007 book Digital Citi- zenship: The Internet, Society, and Participation described the term as “the ability to participate in society online” (Mossberger et al., 2008). The book also conducted research around digital citizenship for participating in the economy. The authors found that individuals in the 21st-century knowledge economy had higher wages—and that those left out of this economy were increasingly divided from the rest of society. This discus- sion of access and the digital divide will be covered more in depth in Chapter 4. Since the beginning of the digital citizenship movement, there have been concerns and conversations on online safety. The term “digital citizenship” is less familiar to most people than “online safety.” In fact, many people equate digital citizenship with online safety, but that is a false equivoca- tion. Digital safety and security fall under the overarching term “digital citizenship” (Ribble, 2015). Topics of online safety, like cyberbullying and sexting, are often the ones that grab headlines and attention. But it’s im- portant to remember that one cannot be safe online without other digital citizenship skills.
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