Page 777 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 5 April 2022

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Whilst it is too early to anticipate specific outcomes, we can expect that priorities and initiatives that relate to digital resources, technology access and related topics will feature strongly in community ideas for Imagine 2030 and the plan for the future. Imagine 2030 will help to identify what the community wants as priorities for library services, just as Better Suburbs did for City Services.

The plan for the future of libraries is expected to be completed by the middle of 2022.

Access to technology, guidance on how to use it and advice on cyber safety are all essential for our community, and libraries have a critical role to play. Not everyone in our community has their own computer or a smartphone. Not everyone has internet access at their fingertips, and not everyone has the skills or confidence to use technology.

There are often challenges in offering technology, including continually upskilling, needing to keep up to date with rapid changes in devices and software, and the wide variety of devices, products and software available. However, our libraries remain aware of the important role that they play in supporting the community. Our libraries provide access to computers and the internet, including wi-fi, all for free. Library staff can help people in a range of ways, such as setting up and using email and social media, how to download apps, using QR codes, basic smartphone tips, and how to seek help for cyberbullying.

Council of the Ageing ACT’s outreach service has trained digital mentors who are also regularly visiting libraries to provide digital support to older people with using technology, including assistance in understanding and accessing My Aged Care and housing options, as well as information, advice and referrals on topics of interest to older people, such as transport and seniors cards. Libraries can connect people with easy-to-use training videos and step-by-step instruction guides such as those offered online by Be Connected.

These actions we are taking are consistent with the ACT government’s digital strategy. As the strategy notes, this is not just about technology but about how we can optimise digital and smart technologies for community-centred services. Importantly, the strategy puts emphasis on the need to think about the design and delivery of digital services with community at its heart. The programs and services that Libraries ACT offers work hard to achieve this goal.

Beyond skill development and technological access, and providing resources to children and their parents, there is a wide variety of advice on technology and strategies to teach and learn e-safety. Picture books for young children can help to reinforce messages about online safety—books like The Internet is Like a Puddle, by Shona Innes and Irisz Agocs, which explains that, just as some puddles are fun to play in and others are too deep and unsafe, the internet is the same and it is important to stay in the right part of it. Understanding cyber safety is important for people of all ages, and library staff can help by providing advice and referring people to current and authoritative information.

The library provides access to an extensive collection of digital resources, including ebooks, audio books, digital magazines and newspapers, and streaming movies and

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video