From 4-8 September, a splash of purple was seen across Queensland with up to 100 library branches joining over 1,000 organisations across Australia for the third annual National eSmart Week. It all started in a library with the official launch by Federal Minister for Communications and Arts, Mitch Fifield and Australia’s eSafety Commissioner, Julie Inman Grant at the newly opened Bargoonga Nganjin, North Fitzroy Library in Melbourne. The week provided opportunity for libraries to join schools and other organisations to encourage communities to become involved in raising awareness on the safe and responsible use of technology. The Alannah & Madeline Foundation CEO, Lesley Podesta, said that there had been an overwhelmingly positive response from the community during the week, especially on social media with schools and libraries in particular leading the way. “I am so proud of the schools and libraries that have made this week such a fantastic campaign” Ms Podesta said “The growth from last year shows that eSmart is having a real impact and that people of all ages are excited to use technology safely”. The week once again showed how important libraries are as trusted places for communities to come together and learn together. From staff training and eSmart displays to cyber safety story time and community outreach, each library took a unique approach to the week, all with the common goal of promoting the smart, safe, responsible use of technology. Australia’s public libraries continue to play an active role in cybersafety. Over 70% of library branches have registered for the eSmart program, helping to build digital literacy and lifelong learning and fostering a greater sense of wellbeing within the community. A further 25 library branches became accredited eSmart Libraries during the week.
About the author
Brad Langoulant is eSmart Libraries Adviser at Alannah & Madeline Foundation