eSmart Libraries – a great opportunity for Australian public libraries

We were delighted to participate in today’s launch of the Alannah and Madeline Foundation (AMF) eSmart Libraries initiative.

We have supported the development of the eSmart Libraries program since it was first discussed back in 2010, and Dr Judith Slocombe, CEO of the Foundation, met with our ALIA Public Libraries Advisory Committee last month. Further consultation will take place with library people over the coming months.

eSmart Libraries complements what most libraries are already doing – putting in place measures to help create a cybersafe environment for users, especially children – but the extras it gives us are a national frameworkand high quality resources to help promote the smart, safe and responsible use of technology.

We will keep you posted about further developments around this exciting new initiative. In the meantime here is what the AMF has to say about it:

On behalf of the Telstra Foundation and The Alannah and Madeline Foundation, we have the great pleasure of announcing an $8 million, multi-year partnership to work alongside libraries to develop and deliver eSmart Libraries - one of the most significant community cybersafety initiatives ever undertaken in Australia.

The partnership was officially announced by The Hon. Julia Gillard MP, Prime Minister of Australia, on Monday, 27 August 2012 at Customs House, Sydney.

eSmart is a behaviour change initiative for cybersafety and wellbeing. It is an online system that provides a road map to the tools and resources that will equip the library community with the skills and knowledge they need for the smart, safe and responsible use of technology.

Both Foundations recognise that libraries are an essential community resource for supporting digital inclusion. With support from their governing bodies, they are taking advantage of new technologies and the online world. In recent years, many libraries have looked at how they can balance the opportunities of online technology while maintaining their responsibilities to set good standards and help library users.

The Telstra Foundation’s substantial funding will upscale these efforts and provide a significant, consistent and holistic approach and offer this opportunity to all of Australia’s 1,500 public libraries over the next five years.

Our next step will be to pilot eSmart Libraries in 20 clusters of libraries in early 2013 and afterwards, roll it out Australia-wide. During this, we will work further with libraries to gain insight and develop eSmart Libraries. In turn, this will support the library community to manage cyber issues and continue to embrace the positive benefits of online activity.

We look forward to working with you. For more information please refer to the media release attached or visit our website www.amf.org.au.

Yours sincerely,

Judith Slocombe and on behalf of Tim O’Leary, Chief Sustainability Officer for Telstra

 

INFORMATION FOR EDITORS:

Australian Library and Information Association: 
Sue McKerracher, Executive Director 0404 456749
sue.mckerracher@alia.org.au

The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) is the professional association for the Australian library and information services sector. It seeks to empower the profession in the development, promotion and delivery of quality library and information services to the nation, through leadership, advocacy and mutual support. ALIA represents the interest of 6,000 members, the profession and Australia's 12 million library users.

http://www.alia.org.au

Issued on behalf of
Australian Library and Information Association
ALIA House, 9-11 Napier Close, Deakin ACT 2604
T: 02 6215 8222

Released
Thursday 13 September 2012 9:00pm