Skip to content

Age Friendly Libraries help Ireland’s Older People get online

Age Friendly Ireland | National

Minister Butler

Age Friendly Libraries help Ireland’s Older People get online

Minister Butler launches the Age Friendly Libraries Digital Ambassadors Programme

Minister of State, Department of Health with responsibility for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler, TD today officially launched the rolling out of the Digital Ambassadors programme in Ireland’s libraries which was developed in partnership between Age Friendly Ireland (AFI) and Libraries Development at the LGMA.  The aim of the programme is to support older people in accessing online library resources, while physical library services are suspended as part of government measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Building on the success of the peer to peer pilot, that saw members of Age Friendly Ireland’s Older People’s Councils participate in training provided by AFI and Libraries Development so that they could teach other older people to get on line,  the ambition for this Programme is for the online training to be rolled out nationally through the 48 Age Friendly Library Champions in libraries around the country.  Library staff will take part in training, delivered by Age Friendly Ireland and Libraries Development |LGMA, to support them in providing online tutoring sessions to older people in their areas. Through these tutoring sessions, older people will be empowered to avail of the fantastic range of library services available online.  It will familiarise older people with getting on to the internet and downloading apps which will empower them to participate in other online activities, e.g. exercise classes, singing, zooming, etc. which they may have been nervous and unsure about accessing before.  In time this may even give participants the confidence to perhaps become mentors themselves and show their peers how to do the same. 

Minister Butler

Speaking today, Minister Butler said; “Isolation of people of all ages is a significant risk during the COVID pandemic, particularly during periods of tight restrictions on movement and social interaction. It is of huge importance that people, including our older population are supported in staying connected with their communities, including through available services and supports during these challenging times.  In this context Minister Butler welcomes the launch of the Age Friendly Libraries Digital Ambassadors Programme.  This programme aims to empower older people to avail of the fantastic range of library services available online.  It will familiarise many older people with getting on-line, enhance digital literacy and engagement and will enable individuals to participate in other online activities, such as exercise classes, singing, zooming, and so on”.

In attendance at today’s launch, Jackie Maguire, Chief Executive of Meath County Council and host to the Shared Service, Age Friendly Ireland said,  ‘It is gratifying to see the development of this programme. It has progressed from a modest pilot in four local authority areas, advanced to libraries in Kildare County Council and will be scaled up and rolled out by the network of Age Friendly libraries in all local authority areas.  This is a prime example of the important role played by Shared Services in local government in supporting collaboration, plus replication and scaling up of good practice’.

Speaking at today’s launch, Collette Byrne, Chief Executive of Kilkenny County Council & Chair of the Libraries Development Committee at the LGMA, said, ‘It is inspiring to see how libraries and library staff have innovated this past year, and how they continue to provide a vital service to everyone in the community – of all ages. Libraries are a lifeline in communities across the country and we want to try to make sure that services are available to as many people as possible – that’s what this programme is all about’.

Also in attendance at today’s launch, Catherine McGuigan, Chief Officer, Age Friendly Ireland said, “The Age Friendly Libraries Digital Ambassadors Programme marks the latest achievement in the long and fruitful working relationship between libraries and Age Friendly Ireland, already marked by such wonderful initiatives as the Age Friendly Libraries Recognition programme and the diverse role libraries play in supporting older people as well as all citizens.  The onset of Covid-19 has been very challenging for everyone, especially older people who are not perhaps as digitally aware as others.  Our Older People’s Councils have responded to this challenge through many initiatives like our recent peer to peer digital training pilot, ensuring older people remain connected during this pandemic”.

Today’s launch is the beginning of the roll-out nationally of an important and valuable service for older people which is being provided by our Libraries.

Capture

Latest News

Ageing Redefined at Inaugural Age Friendly Ambassadors’ Day

Age Friendly Ireland | National

23 May 2024: Societal views on ageing are evolving rapidly and positively, outlined 31 Age Friendly Ireland Ambassadors from the worlds of entertainment, sports, journalism, and business today (23 May). These ambassadors — including prominent figures such as former Irish hotelier and television personality Francis Brennan and actress Geraldine Plunkett — …

Wexford Library Updates

Age Friendly Ireland | Local

Healthy Age Friendly Homes with Deirdre Mulally – Thursday 30th May at 7.00pm Join Deirdre – Local Wexford Co-ordinator for an informative talk and learn more about the Healthy Age Friendly Homes Programme that recently launched in Wexford by Age Friendly Ireland. The programme is aimed at supporting older people to live in their …

Inaugural Age Well Expo draws over 1,500 attendees

Age Friendly Ireland | Local

On Tuesday, May 7th, Waterford’s first Age Well Expo took place in the Tower Hotel and was attended by over 1,500 participants throughout the afternoon. The Age Friendly Waterford event, in association with Healthy Waterford, UPMC Whitfield and Waterford City and County Council showcased the services, supports and activities available …

Free Climate Conversation for over 60’s

Age Friendly Ireland | Local

Offaly County Council are bringing the Mount Lucas Training Rig to the Bridge Centre , Tullamore Co Offaly for 4 days in June ( 4th to 7th) . Over the 4 days there will be a variety of presentations and drop-in sessions for the public. SEAI staff will be available …

Soulsong Community Gospel Choir

Age Friendly Ireland | Local

Presents – Afternoon Tea Party. Supported by WYTEC Waterford Date: Saturday 6th July. Venue: Cill Barra Community Centre,  [Brill Centre].  Time:  2pm -6pm. Price:   €10. Contact:  Joan  *protected email* Phone: 089 429 8678 Ticket includes Afternoon tea, Music, Dancing and for all you singers out there, an invite up for …