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Digital Outreach Programme piloted at Blueskin Bay Library

Digital Outreach Programme piloted at Blueskin Bay Library

For some, having a computer is a luxury they cannot afford. Now, with the help of the Otago Polytechnic Digital Outreach Programme, those who need a helping hand will receive it. Otago Polytechnic has provided two computers to the Blueskin Bay Library in Waitati, in an effort to encourage patrons to hone in on their computer skills and complete free online courses without having to drive into town.

“It’s a nice way to connect with the community,” says Otago Polytechnic Digital Outreach Facilitator, Craig West. “We hope visitors to the Blueskin Bay Library will feel encouraged to give some of our online programmes a go. We’ve tried to create an environment which is friendly, accommodating and comfortable.”

Both computers have several free online programmes available including the recently launched Otago Polytechnic National Certificate in Computing through WikiEducator. Other programmes include free tutorials in computer basics, Microsoft Office, Google, Facebook, reading, maths and more.

The Digital Outreach Programme is currently being piloted in the Blueskin Bay Library, with the hopes for it to grow and develop further afield.

“If patrons are completing online programmes and interacting with the computers provided, we will consider other areas such as Milton and Port Chalmers to run this initiative,” says Mr West.

Blueskin Bay Librarian Louise Booth is thrilled to have Otago Polytechnic’s support. “These resources help our local community enormously and we’re proud to offer yet another free service to the residents of the Blueskin Bay area.

“Polytechnic students can do a large component of work at the Library without having to travel into town. Travel is expensive and we have a high proportion of people on very limited outcomes.”

Mr West hopes that some of the patrons that complete the free online programmes will consider coming to campus to further their studies.

“That’s the intention and we hope we can encourage some to take the next step and consider studying on-campus. There is so much support here for beginner learners and several bridging options for those that want to take the next step to a higher-level qualification.”

The Blueskin Bay Library is part of the Dunedin Public Libraries network and is located at 26 Harvey St Waitati.


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