The Alannah and Madeline Foundation and the Telstra Foundation have acknowledged Gunnedah Shire Council as an eSmart Library Service/ Network, recognising it is equipped to support its customers to use technology in a smart, safe and responsible way.
eSmart Libraries is one of the most significant community cyber safety programs ever undertaken in Australia, with over one-third of all libraries in Australia currently involved in the program.
“Council is excited and proud to be an eSmart library service, this has been the culmination of hard work by our Library staff to integrate cyber safety in our daily operations, staff development and organisational culture,” Gunnedah Shire Mayor Jamie Chaffey said.
“It is a great example of what can be achieved by a smaller regional library.”
Gunnedah Shire Library will unveil its eSmart Library plaque during eSmart Library Week on 4 September at 10:00am.
Telstra Foundation General Manager, Jackie Coates said Telstra was thrilled to be able to celebrate the achievement.
“We know that libraries play a vital role in bridging the digital divide across the country in metropolitan, regional and rural Australia," Ms Coates said.
Lesley Podesta, CEO of the Alannah & Madeline Foundation said this achievement was a significant milestone in the Foundation’s journey towards creating an eSmart Australia, where all Australians are safe, smart and responsible online.
“In fact, nearly 60 per cent of Australian public libraries are now becoming eSmart,” Ms Podesta said.
“Being eSmart means knowing how to guard against security and privacy risks online, download content in a legal and ethical way, research and reference information, and manage reputation and relationships in cyberspace,” she said.
“Gunnedah Shire Library’s continuous dedication and enthusiasm for the eSmart program, shows that local communities are as committed to promoting cyber safety as we are.”
“This is important given almost half the Australian population is a member of their local library and there were 114 million visits in the past year, libraries are a great environment for sharing the best tips to equip Australians from all walks of life with the skills to be safe online. This is a big leap forward towards creating an eSmart Australia.”
By making the online library experience safer for everyone, eSmart Libraries will give more Australians the opportunity to experience the social and economic benefits of new digital technologies.
Launched in August 2012 this $8 million, multi-year partnership with the Telstra Foundation is delivering eSmart Libraries in collaboration with Australia’s library network to all 1,500 public libraries in Australia.
Gunnedah Shire Library is the 1st library in the north east zone, 4th library in NSW, 6th regional library service in Australia, and the 26th library service in Australia to become recognized as an eSmart library.
Photo: Some of Gunnedah’s eSmart Library Team, from left, Robyn Draper, Christiane Birkett, Yvonne Reading, Liz Ironmonger and Fiona Sills.
Media Contact: Ashley Gardner 6740 2100.