Buller District Council

Digital literacy classes popular

7th May, 2021

Buller District Libraries digital literacy classes for seniors are booked out until July. The classes at the Buller District Library have been so popular more are being scheduled for July and August.

Community engagement librarian Nicky Meadowcroft says council’s library team started running Better Digital Futures for Seniors Pathways in May.

“There has been a huge uptake and we are booked out until July. We are rapt to be able to help our senior community members with their digital literacy.These are digital literacy classes to help people gain confidence and independence using the internet.”

Norman Crawshaw attended the first Better Digital Futures Digital Engagement for Seniors Pathway covering online shopping, online banking, managing photos and solving common problems.

Mr Crawshaw wanted to fill in the gaps in his knowledge of using the internet. “With internet banking becoming almost compulsory I needed to learn”. The tutoring helped him to increase his knowledge.

“I am very happy with the pathway and the knowledge I gained. The staff was very patient and understood that people were at different levels with their digital knowledge. She fitted the course to the people who were there.”

Mr Crawshaw is the secretary/treasurer of Grey Power. He sees that a lot of members are frightened of computers “There is nothing to be scared of, they are just a tool”.

When asked if he would like to do more Pathways in the future Mr Crawshaw said he would like to.

The four pathways consisting of two one-hour sessions held weekly over four weeks.

Miss Meadowcroft says “Keeping the classes small means, we can give each person the time and support they want to really build their confidence.”

The classes have been made possible through funding from the government’s Libraries in Partnership scheme.

“With the additional funding, we were able to employ two additional full-time staff members late last year which has enabled us to run these programmes.

During April, in partnership with Buller REAP, library staff also ran two Stepping Up Introduction to Digital Banking classes in Reefton. The people who took part gained confidence in internet safety and using online banking.

Enrolments for these classes in Westport are already booked out.

Ms Meadowcroft says anyone wishing to put their name down on a waiting list for future classes should get in touch with the Sue Thomson-Casey Library in Westport.


For more information please contact:
Community Engagement Librarian
Nicky Meadowcroft

Photo: Digital literacy participant Norman Crashaw.


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