Archive for Technology

Novel Conversations

We are now eSmart!

esmart_congratsWe are proud to announce the Shire of Dardanup Library Service has been accredited as an eSmart Library. As one of only a handful of libraries in Western Australia to achieve this status, we provide an increasingly important bridge to the digital divide in our community.

With the convenience of the internet age, it is crucial to be cyber aware and eSmart.  The web is a great place to learn, be creative and stay connected.  But with one in seven young Australians experiencing cyber bullying and other online challenges, it’s important to invest in the skills needed to be responsible digital citizens. As our lives become more and more entwined with the internet, too few of us are aware of the information we leave online, and how many virtual doors we leave open for the cyber-world to see.

The eSmart program is generously funded by the Alannah and Madeline Foundation and Telstra, and is one of the most significant community cybersafety initiatives undertaken in Australia. It is a framework for building and sustaining digital skills and cybersafety for the community, library users, and library staff.  Working through informative tools and frameworks helped library staff increase their own digital literacy and awareness of cyber safetcybersecurityy, in order to help others to avoid:

  • scams
  • computer fraud
  • invasions of privacy/bullying

Public libraries are the most heavily used community centres in Australia, and more than half the population are public library members.  As an eSmart Library serving a vibrant community, we strive to remain at the forefront of evolving  technologies, equipping library users with the confidence to navigate safely, ethically and legally.

Reporting Online Incidents

If you feel you are a victim of a cyber crime or have a cybersafety issue, the following contacts may be useful.

Online offence Where to report
Cyberbullying Report to local Police 13 14 44
Online fraud Report to local Police 13 14 44
Internet banking fraud Contact your bank for advice on whether to report in person to local Police
Scams (Internet based or email) Report to SCAMwatch – Australian Competition & Consumer Commission
Tax-related scams Report to the Australian Taxation Office
Online Child Exploitation Contact Australian Federal Police via the Online child protection form
Spam Report to ACMA
Faulty goods or services purchased online Report to Australian Competition & Consumer Commission

Online issues
Useful websites
Cybersafety Information www.esafety.gov.au

www.kidshelp.com.au

www.connectsafely.org

www.bullyingnoway.gov.au

www.hectorsworld.com

www.digizen.org
www.thinkuknow.org.au

 

 

What’s New

In a makerspace, users can discover technology by exploring their interests and imagination.

In the explosion of new technology in our lives, it is important that we understand what the technology is and what it can do for us.  Libraries are uniquely able to equip their communities with information to understand and use these evolving technologies. A makerspace is one way to accomplish that: users can access a range of tools and materials and learn to use them for their own projects. From 3D printing to arts and crafts, there is no set list of tools or equipment; some makerspaces have even included play doh and duct tape. The main requirement is that a makerspace fosters a sense of play and exploration.

On the second Saturday of the month the South West Makers meet at the Eaton Community Library.  This group of individuals enjoys coming together and making things; by providing a collaborative learning environment, the group pool their skills and knowledge to create and explore new technologies. They encourage tinkering and nurture the act of problem solving. Equipped with 3D printers, laser cutters, 3D scanners, Raspberry Pi computers, drones, LEDs, Arduinos and fabric art, the Makers create a wonderful opportunity for people in the community to learn and enjoy the do-it-yourself ethos of the maker movement.

Makerspaces can be an important part of our community, building a mindset of creativity and collaboration. It takes the idea of libraries as hubs of information a step further by providing the opportunity to actively do something with that information. It allows people to bring their learning and their ideas to life in a collaborative way and explore a variety media, tools and practices.

 

Novel Conversations

eBooks: A library at your fingertips.

One of the questions we are often asked in the library is “What are ebooks?”.
The short answer: it’s an electronic book.
The long answer: it’s changing the world.

eBooks are one of the most exciting developments in libraries. They are revolutionising the way we access information and how we provide it to the community. Currently, the Shire of Dardanup Library Service has access to online eBook collections of over 30,000 titles – that’s an entire library available at the touch of a button (or swipe of a screen).

Just like a printed book, eBooks have cover art, an author, editor, illustrator, publisher and story. They can be any length, can be bookmarked at any page or section, and are available in any genre – from cookbooks to children’s picture books to graphic novels.

Why should you read eBooks?

digitization_images_headerLet’s face it, we love the feel, the weight, and the smell of ‘real’ books; many of us couldn’t imagine reading any other way. Chances are though, in today’s digital age, you’re already reading and even writing eBooks without knowing it: the report emailed to you at work, or that assignment you’ve just handed in. Pretty much any mid-to-long-length electronic document, viewable on a screen, is a sort of eBook. In fact, we are reading more and more information on screens than ever before.

Convenience is a primary factor for the use of eBooks. Probably the most appealing feature is that you can access them at any time from anywhere, 24/7. The versatility and flexibility of an eBook allows you to change font size, the colour of the background page, and sometimes even the layout of the entire book. Instead of earmarking or marking up pages of a print books, eBooks allow you to add and delete bookmarks and notes at will and can easily be referenced at the click of a mouse or touch of the screen. Finally, all text in an eBook is searchable and can be hyperlinked, allowing you to jump back and forth between chapters, contents and glossary.

How eBooks are transforming the world

Probably the most revolutionary aspect of the rise of the eBook is the the ease with which a rapidly growing number of communities can access information. In the Rwandan town of Rwinkwavu, a local library has been embracing eBooks, which has been beneficial to their economically disadvantaged community. Through their local library and the instant access of eBooks, Rwandans can now select from hundreds of titles on all kinds of subjects and genres. This access is transforming the community. Children are now not only learning to read, they are developing interests in ideas, concepts and subjects they would never otherwise have been exposed to. Adults in the community are learning to master new skills in trades and finance, many even running their own businesses. People around the world are being empowered by accessing the information eBooks provide.

eBooks at Shire of Dardanup Library

At Shire of Dardanup Libraries, we are continually enhancing the services we offer.  With our international eBook vendor Overdrive, we are excited to provide an extensive elibrary to our members. If you can’t find it in the library, have a look at the Overdrive online eBook collection  with over 30,000 titles. Our collection holds a range of subjects and series favourites such as Harry Potter and Hamish Macbeth as well as bestselling authors including:

All you need is a membership card and an internet connection to browse and download ebooks through our catalogue or, if you have a mobile device, through the Overdrive app. For information about accessing the wonderful features of our eBook and digital collection please visit our eBooks page or download our simple step-by-step user guide.  If you still have questions, bring your tablet device or laptop to the library, and we’ll help you see how easy it is to access the library online.

Novel Conversations

Digitisation and the changing library.

Libraries are not about books, rather the thoughts and knowledge that is borne from them. Maintaining this intellectual content is at the very core of digitisation.

digitization_images_2
The digitisation process has been described as “a series of collaborative activities that transforms analog materials into a digital format”.  In libraries this is most often understood as the scanning of books into electronic files, kept on servers and digitally retrieved when needed. However, digitisation efforts are currently in place to collect images, sound, and audiovisual data around the world. Projects such as Google Books push the boundaries of copyright and public domain. Generally the need for digitisation is to improve sustainable access and preserve materials by reducing their handling. The ultimate goal is for digitised materials to be searchable on the Internet, thereby sharing the collection with a wider audience. These two needs aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. Rare books that are digitised for preservation may also find new life as more people are able to view the resource digitally. It is this global connectivity, the prospect of getting local information to individuals searching from anywhere in the world, that will continue to drive digitisation projects into the future. With each passing year new digitisation vendors have emerged creating a competitive marketplace which institutions are taking full advantage of. Libraries of all sizes are now contemplating, planning or engaged in some sort of digitisation initiative.

The core of library service is still essentially facilitating access to information and a key part of that chain in the analog world has been the Interlibrary Loans Scheme (ILLs).  However, studies have found that the cost of an item loaned through ILLs was approximately ten times the cost of an ordinary loan item; by any standard, a premium service! One solution is in the digitisation of library collections. E-books now serve as texts in some of the most fundamental classes taught in universities. However, largely due to issues surrounding copyright and licensing, the ability to share e-books with patrons via interlibrary loan has predominantly been ignored by publishers and libraries alike. Observers however note that an e-book interlibrary loan program would be “in spirit and in practice” the same process currently used for physical items by public and academic libraries globally. Furthermore, as there is no such thing as a lost e-book, shipping or replacement costs would be non-existent. Furthermore, it could be lent many times instantaneously (and simultaneously, if licensing allows) increasing access to users who would be able to download the e-books at their convenience on their own device.

Through digitisation the landscape of library services is changing rapidly. As it becomes more affordable, libraries will increasingly initiate their own projects, their collections becoming available as e-books. The “Discovery to Delivery” process remains at the heart of library operations and core services such as the interlibrary loan scheme can be applied to benefit both user and library while new technologies make the process more and more convenient.

Are you lost in the new digital age?

According to research by the CSIRO, 1 in 5 Australian adults are not online and don’t have the skills to make the most of increased opportunities in the digital age.

A national program to ensure no one is left behind during today’s fast-moving digital age is being supported by Shire of Dardanup Library Services.

Go Digi is a four-year digital literacy program created via a partnership between Infoxchange and Australia Post with the aim of supporting more than 300,000 Australians to improve their digital skills.

Help is provided on an array of topics like:

  • What is eBay?
  • Using the internet to create and publish work
  • How to choose a device
  • Finding health info online

Shire of Dardanup Library Services is a registered Go Digi Network Partner which means we’re committed to improving digital literacy in our community.

Library users should feel welcome to contact Shire of Dardanup Library Services at any time for assistance with accessing digital services.

In particular, staff can help users access the Go Digi Platform which provides:

  • Easy to read learning materials to build online skills and confidence
  • Access to guides and ability to track personal progress on guide quizzes
  • Online training on how to become a Go Digi Mentor to help friends and family.

To find out more about Go Digi, visit the website or pop into one of our libraries soon.