Let's get digital

The Whyalla Library got digital last week with library staff from across the region meeting in Whyalla to learn how to capitalise on the role of digital technology in public libraries.

Part of the Public Library Services (PLS) Regional Road Shows, the meeting saw attendees learn about a range of digital literacy topics.

With an increasing reliance on the online world as a research tool, a communications medium and much more, city librarian Catherine McIntyre said public libraries needed to be up-to-date in digital literacy.

"Public libraries are really embracing what's available in terms of digital resources and online materials," Ms McIntyre said.

"They want to make sure that the regional public libraries are able to utilise these educational opportunities to their full capacity."

Ms McIntyre said libraries' roles were also changing due to providing access to computers and the internet.

"We're increasingly providing information and training on social media such as Facebook and Twitter which are the new communication media as well as the library providing online resources involving access to eBooks and audio books as well as databases," Ms McIntyre said.

Two coordinators from PLS hosted the information sessions as part of the association's commitment to provide leadership and direction for the SA Public Library network.

Ms McIntyre said traditionally it has been challenging to gain training in regional areas but PLS has been working hard to bridge that by bringing the training to regional South Australia with the road shows.

Ms McIntyre said the aim now would be for the various staff that attended to take this information with them and pass it onto their clients.

"We're addressing the digital divide," Ms McIntyre said.

"There's that gap between people who understand and access technology and those that don't."

Ms McIntyre said she was pleased for the Whyalla Library to be able to host the road show event and that our state-of-the-art library was being showcased as a result.

Library staff from Hawker, Quorn, Kimba and Wudinna as well as members of Whyalla's own library staff attended on the day.