eSafe spaces—libraries at the frontline

New research shows over half of Australian kids and teens on social media see nasty comments and inappropriate or hurtful content representing the downside of the internet—but this does not deter them from enjoying the benefits of being active online.

In order to help young Tasmanians navigate the risks and have safe and positive experiences online, the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner is launching eSafe Spaces in libraries today.

‘It’s important that we create spaces where all young people can feel safe, not just online but also offline—where support and advice about online safety is readily available,’ says Children’s eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant.

Training sessions will be conducted by the Office this week for library staff in Hobart and Launceston, boosting their skills as key points of contact in the community.

‘Our training gives librarians the confidence to assist children who are affected by cyberbullying and to find advice and support to deal with issue,’ says Inman Grant.

eSafe Spaces is a joint initiative between the Office, the Australian Library and Information Association and LINC Tasmania, with the aim of establishing locations where people who have been targeted by the negative use of technology can feel safe, and seek practical help and advice from a trained expert.

‘LINC Tasmania is proud to be partnering with the Office of Children’s eSafety Commissioner. Training our staff to help clients with online safety issues, including reporting cyber bullying, is an important component of that partnership, says Liz Jack, Director LINC Tasmania.

‘LINCs play a vital role in communities as safe spaces, both physically and online. With online activities now an integral part of all of our lives, we need to ensure all members of the community—particularly our children—are safe and supported.’

The eSafe spaces Tasmania launch coincides with Safer Internet Day 2017, an international initiative to help promote safer and more responsible use of online technologies.

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