About the Digital Equity in Libraries Project

Funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), Portland State University (PSU) and Multnomah County Library (MCL) are collaborating on a two-year research project to improve library practices, programs, and services for adult patrons—especially economically vulnerable and socially isolated adults, seniors, English learners, and others lacking basic digital literacy skills. This project provides the opportunity to administer the “Problem Solving in Technology Rich Environments” (PS-TRE) survey developed by the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Multnomah County and other public library systems are uniquely positioned to tailor services to the varied needs of adult learners; however, they have not to date been a prominent part of PIAAC development and analysis. Through its partnership between university researchers and Multnomah County Library this project will address this crucial need, consistent with the IMLS strategic goal for placing the learner at the center and supporting engaging experiences in libraries that prepare people to be full participants in their communities and a global society. This research project’s use of the PSTRE direct assessment will provide the library with a much more nuanced perspective on adult patrons’ digital literacy skills and needs.

For more information about PIAAC, visit the PIAAC gateway.