eSafe spaces - combating cyberbullying at the frontline

Reporting cyberbullying to the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner is now easier with a new pilot program—eSafe spaces—in the ACT.

Libraries ACT are trialling the program, offered by the Office, which aims to promote libraries as places where young people can confidently seek help with removing cyberbullying material. Staff with Libraries ACT can now provide assistance to those who need to complete the online cyberbullying complaint form.

Launching the pilot in Canberra today, the Children’s eSafety Commissioner Alastair MacGibbon said “libraries continue to be an important hub within the community, especially for young people. The Office values our partnership with libraries, and are pleased to be working together to help young people who experience negative behaviour online.”

Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Shane Rattenbury, is delighted to be involved with the pilot program.

“The program will help to promote libraries as a place for digital literacy information and advice and aligns with Libraries ACT being part of the eSmart libraries program,” Mr Rattenbury said.

Sue McKerracher, CEO of the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), said “this is an excellent example of how public libraries can support federal, state and territory government initiatives. Councils provide a network of 1500 public libraries across Australia, with over 112 million customer visits each year.”

Library staff will be formally trained by the Office’s Senior Education Advisor Kellie Britnell. The training will cover: the role and functions of the Office; the cyberbullying complaint handling process; a practical demonstration of how to use the complaint form; ways to assist children dealing with cyberbullying; and other helpful resources on www.esafety.gov.au.

The pilot will run for six months in 10 ACT libraries, with the view to rolling it out to all public libraries across Australia through the ALIA Australian Public Library Alliance.

To report cyberbullying, or for more information, practical advice and resources on dealing with cyberbullying and other eSafety issues, visit www.esafety.gov.au

For more information / arrange an interview, please see contact below.