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Tinder Foundation helps 80% of public library staff improve their digital skills

20/08/2015
by Jodie Crossley
Language: EN

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Written by Aniela Kaczmarczyk, Tinder Foundation

It’s been over a year since I blogged about our digital champion training work with public libraries, and seeing as though Tinder Foundation’s work with libraries is busier (and more exciting) than ever I thought I’d bring you up to speed from where I left off!

But first, here’s a little reminder of what we did.

In 2014, we helped to deliver an e-learning digital skills training programme for customer facing library staff, which was commissioned by the Society for Chief Librarians (SCL) and funded by the Arts Council. We developed the e-learning resource to support the public library Universal Information Offer, working alongside SCL’s network of regional trainers. The programme was focused on making sure library staff have the skills and confidence to help people access information and services online in line with Digital by Default and Assisted Digital services. This was the first course of its kind to be implemented in the UK. I remember saying at the time what a pleasure it was to be working with library services and when I think back to the work we did - and the people we got to meet along the way - I’m reminded of the brilliant quote by Steve Jobs: “... the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

The proof is in the pudding.

I’m delighted to be able to share the results from SCL’s independent evaluation of the training programme:

Key findings:

  • Nearly 14,000 public library staff (80% of the total libraries workforce) signed up for the learning programme.
  • 91% of the staff trained are successfully applying what they learned in order to help customers.
  • 65% of the library customers that were surveyed did not have computer or internet access at home.
  • 90% of the library customers surveyed said that the online support they received in libraries was very important.

We are thrilled with these results, and they reinforce the crucial role library services play in equipping their communities with digital skills; libraries are a gateway to online learning and helping people to improve their lives, and why we’re so passionate about working with libraries at Tinder Foundation.

Ciara Eastell, SCL President, said: “I’m very pleased that so many library services got involved in this training. It was supported by Tinder Foundation and delivered by SCL’s regional trainers to a tight timeframe, and in response to the identified training needs of library staff.”

I’m personally looking forward to continuing our work with SCL because if we can help SCL achieve the above in such a short timeframe, who knows what we can achieve next! Click here to read SCL’s evaluation in full.

Aniela Kaczmarczyk is Head of Learning at the Tinder Foundation.  She builds the programme that they offer to their network of UK online centres and community centres.  Aniela leads the rest of the team, as they design content, create partnerships and deliver the face-to-face courses, online learning and webinars that the learners and network use to develop themselves and their staff and volunteers.

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