A digital literacy programme available at both Waipā District Libraries has been a big hit, with more than 430 sessions held and 84 visits to community groups carried out between April and June.
Waipā District Council received funding from the New Zealand Libraries Partnership Programme, administered by the National Library, to provide free access to the internet through the use of Waipā District Libraries computers, with the aim to assist people with digital literacy and help those looking for employment.
The service is available at both Cambridge and Te Awamutu Libraries.
Cambridge Library supervisor Rachel Newnes said since the service began in December, they had received great feedback from residents.
"Many of our older residents are adopting new technology, but don't know how to use it yet. They've said knowing that they can come equipped with questions and that we're available on a regular basis has been very helpful."
Newnes said the librarians tok special care to make sure they were going at a pace that was more accessible for their users.
"Some of the most notable feedback we've received is that we are more patient than family members, and our residents have been very appreciative of us breaking it down to simple language and going at a slower pace so it's easier to understand."
Newnes said the Cambridge librarians introduced visits to retirement villages in May after recognising an opportunity to reach more people at the same time.
"The new outreach service we run twice weekly to local retirement villages was born from our retired residents finding it difficult to get to the drop-in sessions and bringing their computers in for teaching.
"We're able to assist more people this way and the added bonus is that we now notice some residents are learning based on the issues we are sorting out for others. Many are also appreciative that they don't need to bring their computers in for assistance which is a win-win."
The service offers introductory modules such as computer basics, Microsoft Word formatting and editing, emails, employment (CVs and job searching), digital banking, understanding apps, SuperGold Card applications, intro to social media (Facebook & Instagram), Google Drive and internet, Pinterest, Trade Me and YouTube, internet security and safety, and Skinny Jump pre-pay broadband assistance.
Computer basics, CV, résumé and cover letters, email, Facebook, Trade Me, and Google Drive are the most popular among service users.
Head to www.waipalibraries.org.nz for more information