Mount Gambier Library is aiming to bridge the gap for socially isolated members of the community as part of the ‘Be Connected – Stay Connected’ project. The project follows the library’s successful grant application for $5,000 under the Australian Government’s ‘Be Connected’ program, enabling the purchase of digital devices available for borrowing.
“Mount Gambier Library has used the grant funding to purchase seven new iPads,” Mount Gambier Library Manager Georgina Davison said.
“These iPads will be available specifically for over 50 year olds who do not already have access to such equipment.”
The project aims to connect family members by teaching them how to utilise messaging apps and free video calls and emails, and will be tailored to suit each individual applicant.
The iPads will be loaned out for a six month period, complete with data allowance and training sessions on how to utilise the devices, enabling participants to connect with family and friends.
People with little or no experience using an iPad are encouraged to apply.
“The first training session will teach the successful applicants how to navigate the device and we will work with them to customise a learning program,” Ms Davison said.
To qualify for the loan of an iPad and free data, applicants need to express their interest or interest on behalf of someone they know and meet the following criteria:
- Over 50 years of age and live in the City of Mount Gambier,
- Able to commit to four training sessions at the Mount Gambier Library to learn how to use the iPad, and
- Do not ordinarily have access to an iPad, tablet or other device.
“We envisage the program will suit someone who may be self-isolating or have family members living away and hope that it will empower participants to gain the knowledge and confidence to communicate with family online via audio and video calls through various free apps and messaging platforms,” Ms Davison said.
To apply, applicants can write to or email Mount Gambier Library on behalf of themselves or someone who would benefit from this program and include a short paragraph explaining how the iPad will be used and who they would connect with if they were one of the seven successful applicants.