Diving into the Digital Inclusion Forum was a little scary as my colleague and I had been invited to present at two of the panel sessions; however we soon got over our nerves, once we had delivered our presentations. My talk was focussed on the development of a new and exciting role for our library service – the birth of the Digital Inclusion Officer (DIO). This in itself had generated a bit of a buzz at the forum and we were a topic of interest and sought out by quite a few participants on how the role was successfully rolled out at Livingstone Shire Libraries.
Being on the stage with the massive screen was just an awe inspiring experience, and I felt very proud to be representing my region and small library service. Our Digital Inclusion Officer role was developed in 2016 – the Year of Digital Inclusion. This meant we had a full time staff member devoted to upskilling our communities’ digital literacy, focussing on developing programs and outreach to the far corners of our shire, and to those who needed it most. The role has meant that Taryn (the DIO) spends hands on time, upskilling library users and the community by being available to develop robotics with local schools, have digital components with all our school holiday programming, run Tech Savvy Seniors, and be the go-to person for upskilling all staff so they can engage with the increasingly online and technical world we live in. Taryn also oversaw the Everyone Online project where we partnered with SLQ to loan data loaded iPads to selected participants to help them understand and engage with technology, feel more confident, and just try out an iPad.
The Digital Inclusion Forum was just a complete inspiration and we especially enjoyed the hands-on sessions with Tim Gentle and VR and AR technology, as well as taking apart computers at The Edge with Daniel Flood. Just fantastic! Thanks SLQ – we are pumped!