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« Maddie is Online | Main | CILIPS Library and Information Professional of the Year 2019 »

ILG Funded Project: Public library digital participation programmes – the impact on employability

Work IT was shortlisted for The Edge conference Digital Award 2019!

Work IT is a flexible programme of digital support for employability offered by libraries in libraries, established in response to increased demand for job-related IT assistance.  Staff were being asked for help with setting up a Universal Credit account, making a claim or creating CVs, daunting tasks for those with limited IT skills.  They were keen to help but lacked time and expertise.  It was felt a dedicated Digital Inclusion Officer could offer effective digital support to jobseekers, enhance skills and build confidence in a local library setting.   

We applied for funding for an action research programme to investigate this and were awarded a bursary from the Information Literacy Group of CILIP funding a Digital Inclusion Officer for 4 months.  Scottish Government Digital Participation Team funding allowed us to extend the research period by a further 10 months and the research programme ran from September 2017 – November 2018. 

Through partnership working and 1-2-1 support the Officer engaged with a large number of jobseekers, 32 of whom attended four or more times and agreed to participate in the research.  Findings showed participants gained new skills and confidence and after attending the percentage using the internet to find information rose from 22% to 54%.

You can find further information about this project and research on the IL Group website, as a blog piece here and with the full report/appendices on the research project page here.

By Lindsay McKrell: Team Leader for Libraries and Archives, Stirling Council & Angela Short: Digital Inclusion Officer, Stirling Council





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