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Libraries and library workers

Libraries are important information hubs for all Australians, and are great places for people to find out about online safety.

eSafety offers resources through its website, as well as free community presentations on digital technology and online safety issues that would be suitable for delivery in a library context.  

On this page: 

Free Digital Mentoring

BeConnected has partnered with eSafety to run a program called ‘Young Mentors’, where secondary school students work one-on-one with older Australians to help them with their digital skills. The sessions run for approximately one hour, and the program spans six weeks. During these sessions, mentors guide older participants through technology training on their own devices. Older participants can freely ask any tech-related questions they have during the sessions.  

This program also provides benefits to the young mentors, as they build greater communication and problem-solving abilities. Being part of the program can be a valuable addition to their resumes, while they also make an important social contribution. Additionally, participation in the Young Mentors program can fulfill the Service requirement for the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Awards.  

We are looking for libraries, councils, aged residential care facilities, community groups and schools to get involved with the Young Mentors program.

Find out more 

Visual Audio

To find out how you too can make a difference, go to eSafety.gov.au/beconnectedyoungmentors

My name is Greg Roberts. I work at Campsie Library and my job there is being basically an aged and disability services librarian for people who are obviously in senior years, people with disabilities, run home library services, library buses and lots of different programming for seniors.

All the time, there’s people looking for help with technology and we just don’t have the resources on our own. We can’t sit next to them for an hour to have someone show them how to do different things, whether it be how to use a computer or how to connect on Facebook, how to use Google Maps. This sort of program takes the people in your community, the people that are coming up to your desk and asking what programs you’ve got available, and giving them either in your library or taking them to a school or organisation where they get that sort of time. They have someone with patience and kindness and a smile on their face to take ‘em through all of that.

A big selling point was how organised the whole Be Connected Young Mentors program was from when it was first presented to us. I had no trouble sort of going to our library management and selling it. They saw it as a great opportunity.
 
The actual training booklet that I was working from has got everything in it. It’s very, very easy to follow, and then the videos that you watch, they’re funny. They’re quick. The resources that you show the students that they can go to, like the little handouts and everything, and all we’re doing is facilitating the teenagers and the seniors to get together like that.

Hearing what the girls get out of today just puts a smile on my face, because I know how much, from my point of view, what the library and the seniors will get out of it, but to see that the girls themselves are giving up their time and energy are getting a lot out of it too. Win-win.   

Why should other libraries and other institutions get involved? Because we’re here as libraries to help our public, the community around us. Otherwise, what are we there for? 

If this isn’t one of the greatest help that I’ve seen, I don’t know what is. And if you’ve got the opportunity to be involved, you’ve gotta do it.

Greg, Aged & Disability Services librarian

“The program is a win-win. We are helping the community…and the students get a lot out of it," says Greg, an aged and disability services librarian.
Visual Audio

To find out how you too can make a difference, go to eSafety.gov.au/beconnectedyoungmentors

Don't know how to use my iPhone. Very basic and I wanted to learn more about it.

My grandson, you know like, "Pop, where'd you get that phone? All your photos are blurry! Why don't you get an iPhone?"

I said, "I had a Nokia." I said, "What are you going on about?" I said, "I'm not into phones."

You don't know what you're doing and there's nobody there to correct you. That why, now I said, "I don't know how to do this", and [my mentor] showed me a few things there today, enlarged the writing, also the lighting on it. I've got bad eyes, bad hearing.

I know how to use it to make calls, can't answer emails. That's luck. I gotta learn more about that. I can receive them, I know how to delete 'em. At times I make mistakes because it's all flick, flick, flick, flick, and sometimes you flick that way and you got, "I didn't want to get rid of that!"

I didn't think it was going to happen with these mentors. I expected to go to a library and sit in there like a school. It would be a group thing. 

I think one-on-one's fantastic. 

Henry, older learner

The skills this older learner gained through the one-on-one program, allowed him to safely use his smartphone despite hearing and sight difficulties.

Free presentations for libraries

We offer free online presentations for libraries to help older Australians learn digital skills – from the basics through to intermediate learning. Libraries can register to host and stream these online presentations.  

These are also part of the BeConnected initiative. The presentations cover a range of topics every month, including:

  • how to use government websites
  • staying safe on Facebook
  • how to avoid scams
  • safer online shopping and banking.  

All presentations are free and delivered in an easy-to-understand format by our expert training and education team.  

We are looking for libraries to get involved by hosting an event to stream these online presentations to your patrons. Visit Be Connected for the topic schedule and information about how to register.

A free toolkit is available to promote these presentations on your website and social media channels, even if you are unable to host a session. 

eSafety resources for libraries

The eSafety website brings together a wealth of useful information to help Australians have safe enjoyable experiences online. We have resources tailored for:  

  • kids: fun activities and simple advice  
  • young people: help and advice for teenagers and young adults  
  • educators: classroom resources and programs to assist teachers, schools and community groups in guiding students to become responsible digital citizens  
  • parents and carers: tips to help their children safely navigate the online world  
  • women: tools to help women protect themselves from risks around technology-facilitated abuse and be more confident online  
  • seniors: advice to increase the digital skills, confidence and safety of those with limited digital literacy  
  • LGBTIQ+: find resources and support for the LGBTIQ+ community  
  • First Nations: online safety advice, videos and stories from mob in a range of languages  
  • Translated resources: online safety advice and resources in more than 20 languages.

The website also provides advice about specific online safety issues including:  

Explore the latest eSafety research and statistics on online safety. 

We also provide online safety presentations for:

Last updated: 05/04/2024