Friday, March 1, 2024

$2m seniors digital literacy program for community libraries

Victorian seniors needing help to navigate the digital world will soon be able to access free training through their local library, thanks to a new $2 million program unveiled today.

Minister for Local Government, Melissa Horne said the Digital Literacy for Seniors Program would support public libraries to conduct hands-on digital training programs for Victorian seniors in 2023.

“Local libraries are a trusted source of information in the community – what better place for our senior citizens to learn great new skills for the digital age,” said Minister Horne.

“This is about growing practical knowledge, building confidence and providing the opportunity for people to expand their social networks.”

Funding will be allocated to eligible public library services through councils, regional library corporations, My Community Library (Myli) and the Vision Australia Library.

Training programs will include one-to-one or small group sessions on both hardware and software topics such as how to manage mobile phones, data and apps, understanding the internet, and how to get the most out of laptops and tablets.

The program also funds the hiring and training of staff to deliver programs, upgrade library digital devices like laptops and iPads, and minor changes to library facilities to better facilitate programs.

According to the Australian Digital Inclusion Index, older people are most likely to be excluded from a range of digital activities. Victorians over the age of 50 now make up more than 35% of public library users, with 17.2% aged over 70.

For more information on programs available through Victoria’s public libraries, visit localgovernment.vic.gov.au/public-libraries.

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