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Upper Hutt Libraries Address Community’s Digital Literacy Needs

‘Talk Digital’, a new daily drop-in service at Upper Hutt’s Central Library, opens the conversation about the growing digital divide in New Zealand. With an increasing number of services moving to online-only availability, people are finding it harder to navigate websites and online services.

During the nationwide lockdown earlier this year, Upper Hutt City Council’s welfare response team noticed that many people in the community were struggling with tasks like online grocery shopping or internet banking.

“It’s easy to assume that everyone feels comfortable using online services these days,” says librarian Neil Jamieson. “That really isn’t the case, though – we help customers with questions about printing, downloading, and finding information online every day.”

In order to make digital literacy less daunting, the library has introduced casual drop-in sessions for those who want to boost their knowledge about digital devices.

“People sometimes feel embarrassed when they don’t know how to get things done online. There is a certain stigma around it,” explains Upper Hutt Libraries’ Helen Thomas. “We have to remember that things change online every day – library staff have to keep up with it all as well.”

‘Talk Digital’ runs at the Central Library on weekdays at different times of the day to cater to a variety of customers.

Mondays: 11.00 am - 12.00 pm
Tuesdays: 2.00 pm - 3.00 pm
Wednesdays: 12.00 pm - 1.00 pm
Thursdays: 4.00 pm - 5.00 pm
Fridays: 3.00 pm - 4.00 pm

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