Digital Inclusion Programs Evaluation
Libraries have been strong advocates for digital inclusion for more than 30 years. Libraries were early adopters of digital technologies, not only to support their own operations, but also to improve customer services and help clients build their own digital technology skills. Libraries and Indigenous Knowledge Centres in Queensland reach some of the least connected people in our communities. They are locally connected and play a key role in bridging the digital divide by providing free access to technology and resources, a place to develop skills, and inclusive programs that enable people to participate in the digital world. Digital inclusion is core to what a library delivers, however digital inclusion issues and challenges in Queensland communities have changed significantly in the last few years, due in part to the turn to digital-by-default services and the impact of COVID-19. The State Library therefore engaged researchers from QUT’s Digital Media Research Centre (DMRC) to undertake an evaluation of its digital inclusion programs run between 2016 and 2022.
The research team found that digital inclusion programs and activities raised the digital capacity of communities across the state, by creating partnerships among libraries, Indigenous Knowledge Centres and local organisations to deliver place-based solutions to digital inclusion challenges. The programs improved the digital literacies of Queenslanders, and the social inclusion of program participants, enabling them to connect with others and access and use technologies in the ways they want. The research informs the development of a 10-year road map for public libraries in Queensland.
Read the report here: State Library of Queensland Digital Inclusion Programs Evaluation 2016-2022.
DMRC research program
This project contributes to the research within the following DMRC research program:
State Library of Queensland (2022)