The Alannah and Madeline Foundation and the Telstra Foundation proudly launched Australia’s first eSmart Library Service at Hume Libraries in Melbourne.

eSmart Libraries is one of the most significant community cyber safety programs ever undertaken in Australia. Australians, and especially kids, are spending more time online and the eSmart Library initiative is all out keeping them safe. It is an online behaviour change initiative that equips library staff with the knowledge they need for the smart, safe and responsible use of technology.

More than one-third of all libraries in Australia are registered in the program, with Hume Libraries the first public library service to complete the program and achieve eSmart Status.

It means the staff at Hume Libraries are now know equipped 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.

Gordon and some happy kids
Pictured: at the launch of Australia’s first eSmart Library Service at Hume Libraries

When you consider that half the population are members of their local library, you can begin to understand why it is critical that library staff have this knowledge to pass onto users.

Libraries play a vital role in bridging the digital divide, connecting communities to the online world and reaching out to some of the most disadvantaged members of our society.

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.

Over the next six years, The Alannah and Madeline Foundation and the Telstra Foundation aim to deliver eSmart Libraries in collaboration with Australia’s library network to all 1,500 public libraries in Australia.

Telstra is proud to be part of this initiative and reflects our wider responsibility to care for the community in new ways and to provide a connected future for all Australians.

If you want to find out how you can register for the program or what to find out more information visit the eSmart Libraries website.