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Nordicom Review

The Journal of University of Gothenburg, Nordicom

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Volume 38, Issue s1


The Community-Based Information Infrastructure of Older Adult Digital Learning

Study of Public Libraries and Senior Centers in a Medium-sized City in the USA

Noah Lenstra
Published Online: 2017-06-27 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/nor-2017-0401


In the United States of America, senior centers and public libraries are ubiquitous social institutions found in virtually every municipality. This article analyses these institutions as community-based information infrastructure in the digital learning practices of older adults. Older adults turn to these institutions to learn technology in retirement. How learning takes place in these spaces is shaped both by the institutions, and by the older adults. Negotiations between institutions and older adults shape digital learning. These negotiations are shaped by societal ageism. This article shows that older adults are not passive participants in technology learning, using services provided for them by others, but instead actively shape both how learning services are proffered and the institutional contexts in which these services exist. By learning to embrace the agency of older adults, these under-funded public institutions could powerfully reconfigure themselves for an information society that is also ageing.

Keywords : community informatics; library and information science; infrastructure studies; older adults; public libraries; senior centers


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About the article

Published Online: 2017-06-27

Published in Print: 2017-06-27

Citation Information: Nordicom Review, Volume 38, Issue s1, Pages 65–77, ISSN (Online) 2001-5119, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/nor-2017-0401.

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© by Noah Lenstra. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

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