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Entries in digital inclusion (4)


#NotWithoutMe @ the BBC

#NotWithoutMe @ the BBC

Supporting digital inclusion solutions for young people, with the Carnegie UK Trust.

Wednesday 15th March, 12:00pm-5:00pm

BBC Scotland, 40 Pacific Quay, Glasgow, G51 1DA 

As part of the BBC's Digital Cities Week Glasgow, the Carnegie UK Trust is hosting an interactive, user focused event on the theme of digital skills and inclusion for vulnerable young people. Enthusiastic participants from any background are welcome to come and discuss, debate and create tailored solutions for those often overlooked as ‘digital natives’.

The afternoon will provide opportunities to share ideas, examine the challenges, look for creative opportunities and test us all to ‘widen the net’. We’ll also be sharing insights from Carnegie UK’s current project #NotWithoutMe, and looking for your input to design the next steps. Please find attached a full version of the agenda which includes lightening talks, active discussion groups and innovative design sessions.

Please register through Eventbrite and we encourage you to share this with any colleagues who may also find this a relevant event. The event is free to attend, however places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first come served basis. Booking will close Tuesday 7th March. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.



I attended the above event, held on Monday, 16th June, at the Informatics Forum at Edinburgh University. It was organised by the Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations. It was well attended and attracted delegates from local authorities, charities and voluntary bodies, universities, the NHS and, of course, libraries. It was organised on the unconference model and took the form of 40 group discussions carried out in a fairly informal fashion. There was also a debate about digital and human rights. This consisted of short presentations by three speakers including Chris Yiu of SCVO and Professor Michael Fourman. Some fairly familiar themes cropped up: the rights to education, leisure and a cultural life and the role of education in getting people into employment. The problems of the disabled who are more likely to be digitally excluded were also raised. Professor Fourman suggested that digital inclusion should be a civil right and that there should be a digital infrastructure which fosters equality of opportunity. He also emphasised the seriousness of the growing state surveillance culture, stating that everyone had a right to privacy.

After that I attended a discussion on how we can include people digitally when they are financially excluded. Much of the discussion focused on the Government’s digitisation of benefits payments and its consequences and the Universal Jobmatch Scheme. I was struck by the fact that there were two groups of people present who were doing similar work but had never heard of each other which raises interesting questions about local planning partnerships.

In the afternoon I attended a discussion about the role of public libraries in today’s digital society. There was little discussion about information literacy or reading. Employability was the main topic with concern expressed about the consequences of the Universal Credit Scheme, the problems it was causing claimants including sanctions and what librarians could do to help. Firewalls and the problems they cause also provoked a lot of discussion.

It was good to see librarians engaging with the digital participation agenda although it is a little concerning that so much attention seems to be focusing around the Universal Credit Scheme and less on information issues. Apologies for the delay in posting but I have been busy with time limited writing, not to mention the good weather.

John Crawford


'Spreading the word: how public libraries are helping to extend digital inclusion' LIR Special issue: public libraries

Looking forward to reading Community of Practice (CoP) member Lindsay McKrell's report on 'Spreading the word: how public libraries are helping to extend digital inclusion' in the latest issue of Library and Information Research on public libraries. The special issue was edited by John Crawford another CoP member.
Library and Information Research
Vol 38, No 117 (2014): Special issue: public libraries
Table of Contents

Editorial (1-4)
        John Crawford

Refereed Research Articles
"You don’t come to the library to look at porn and stuff like that":
Filtering software in public libraries (5-19)
        Louise Cooke,   Rachel Spacey,  Claire Creaser, Adrienne Muir

Public libraries in the "age of austerity": income generation and public
library ethos (20-36)
        Hartwig Pautz,  Alan Poulter

"The love in the room": Evaluating the National Year of Reading in an
Australian public library (37-53)
        Sue Reynolds,   Bernadette Welch

Using social media to create a participatory library service: an Australian
study (54-76)
        Kathleen Smeaton,       Kate Davis

Spreading the word: how public libraries are helping to extend digital
inclusion (77-84)
        Lindsay McKrell

The Ever-Changing World of Libraries: Six Years of “Treffpunkt
Bibliothek” (“Meeting Point Library”) (85-88)

        Maiken Hagemeister,     Guido Jansen


Digital inclusion health hubs launched in England

In last months CILIP Update there was a news item about 'Digital inclusion health hubs launched' which caught my eye.

"DIGITAL hubs to give people the skills they need to access online health information are being created in libraries and community centres." P6

The news item is based upon an article originally published in E-Government Bulletin issue 352.

"The project is the result of a partnership between the Online Centres Foundation, which manages digital inclusion network UK online centres, and NHS England. It will initially fund the establishment of 35 digital health hubs, where people can receive help getting online and undertake training sessions on using online health resources, including the NHS Choices website.

Some 25 of the hubs will be located from April in existing UK online centres, which are based in more than 3,800 public locations including libraries, community centres, schools, churches and pubs."

“We know that people who are likely to experience health inequalities are also those that are most likely to be offline, so the partnership between the two organisations seemed like something that could have a huge impact on helping people to improve their health and access the services they need in the local community”, Helen Milner, Chief Executive of Online Centres Foundation, told E-Government Bulletin.

“By being online, people can find the information they need to do things like lose weight, eat more healthily or exercise more”, Milner said. “They can also find out about what’s available in their local area, so they can make the right decisions for them. This programme aims to support people to improve their computer and internet skills, which will have a huge knock-on effect on their health and their lives.” ‘Health Hubs’ To Use Digital Inclusion As Fitness And Wellness Tool

Hopefully some elements of information literacy will be inlcuded in the 'training sessions on using online health resources'. From the research I carried out for a chapter on health information literacy for a book to be published this year there appeared to be little actual information literacy training available for the public more pointing to reliable health websites and resources. It is also good  news the involvement of public libraies.

It will be interesting to hear how these progress.