NFP Partnership Tackles Cybersafety
28 August 2012 at 10:35 am
Prime Minister Julia Gillard with the CEO of Australian Library & Information Association and Telstra Fundation board members, at the eSmart Libraries Telstra Foundation launch
The Telstra Foundation has delivered an $8million, multi-year partnership with The Alannah and Madeline Foundation to develop eSmart Libraries across Australia – described as one of the most significant community cybersafety programs ever undertaken in Australia.
Over the next six years, the Foundations will work with Australia’s 1,500 public libraries to roll out eSmart Libraries – a cybersafety system to better equip and connect local communities with the skills they need for smart, safe and responsible use of technology.
Telstra Foundation Chairman, Geoff Booth, said the partnership between the Telstra Foundation and The Alannah and Madeline Foundation takes the successful eSmart system beyond the schoolyard and into the broader community.
"Libraries are vital community hubs and play a key role in bridging the digital divide," Booth said.
"The Telstra Foundation recognises the online digital world is changing the way we work, socialise, communicate, transact and organise our lives and this fast-changing environment presents new risks."
"This partnership, through eSmart Libraries, will give more Australians the opportunity to experience the social and economic benefits of new communications technologies whilst making the online library experience more inclusive and safer for everyone," Booth said.
The Alannah and Madeline Foundation’s CEO, Dr Judith Slocombe, said the Foundation is committed to working with the Telstra Foundation and libraries to help the community, irrespective of income, ability or disadvantage, to increase their skills to become more empowered cyber-citizens.
"Many sectors of the community rely on their community library to use technology as they don’t have access to it in their own homes," Dr Slocombe said.
"eSmart Libraries is an extension of eSmart Schools, which The Alannah and Madeline Foundation has made available to all Australian schools in 2011. Since the national roll out of eSmart Schools, more than 1,400 schools across all states have adopted eSmart, with more schools coming on board each week.”
The Telstra Foundation and The Alannah and Madeline Foundation will pilot eSmart Libraries in 20 clusters of libraries in early 2013 and afterwards, roll it out Australia-wide.
Over 54 per cent of Australians are members of libraries, which are regarded as central places for community members to learn and ask questions, making them the perfect location for this initiative.