people at computer

Digital Citizenship

What is digital citizenship?

Digital citizenship is about confident and positive engagement with digital technology. A digital citizen is a person with the skills and knowledge to effectively use digital technologies to participate in society, communicate with others and create and use digital content (1).

Why are online access and digital skills important?

In today’s world, having Internet access and the skills to use it are important to a person’s ability to fully participate in society.  The Internet brings a growing range of benefits and is becoming essential.  For example, the convenience of online banking, accessing government services (e.g. myGov), finding information and learning, and staying in touch with friends and family (e.g. Skype, Facebook, etc). By 2020, 80% of Australian Government service interactions will be online (2). 

Why are libraries getting involved in digital citizenship?

Libraries play an important role in enabling digital citizenship by:

  • providing public access to information and online services, and
  • helping people gain the skills they need to engage in an increasingly digital society.

We are making more resources available digitally and is increasingly asking our clients to use our services online. This digital transformation is happening across government and the private sector.  

This change means there are more opportunities for us to collaborate with other organisations to deliver services and meet client needs. There is also more demand for the support we provide to help people gain the skills they need to be digital citizens.

We advocate for digital inclusion; the idea that everyone should have what they need to be able to make full use of digital technologies.  Digital inclusion is impacted by accessibility, affordability and digital ability. Tasmania is the least digitally included state or territory (3). 

How do we support digital citizenship?

We contribute to and actively supports digital citizenship by:

  • Providing free, safe and welcoming physical spaces to access to WiFi, computers and devices through libraries and online access centres
  • Helping people to access information including myGov and identify any extra support needs, e.g. literacy skills 
  • Helping people improve their literacy, numeracy and digital skills to use the Internet safely and responsibly 
  • Making digital information available for everyone through our website, including eResources, e.g. eBooks, eMusic , eMagazines and eJournals and more
  • Providing digital access to the Tasmanian memory and story for future generations, e.g. Convict Portal, Family History, Tasmanian Names Index.
  • Helping individuals and communities to create, share, and use our digital resources, e.g. Crowther War Diaries, archives search.
  • Developing the digital skills of staff to be leaders in the digital age.
  • Advocating for freedom of access to digital information and resources.

Useful links

1. Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner

2. Digital Service Standard - Digital Transformation Agency

3. Measuring Australia's Digital Divide: The Australian Digital Inclusion Index 2016