Libraries are important community hubs for all Australians, and have long been considered safe and trusted places.
The eSafe Spaces program aims to work in partnership with libraries, widely acknowledged as spaces where children (and adults) feel safe—spaces where expert advice, help and support can be easily accessed.
This program is a joint initiative between the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner and the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA). To date it has been successfully piloted in collaboration with Libraries ACT, and is now being rolled out nationwide, commencing in Tasmania in February 2017 (LINC Tasmania).
The eSafe Spaces program aims to give library staff the confidence to assist children who are affected by cyberbullying and to support their role as key points of contact in the community on a range of online safety issues.
Training for library staff focuses on:
Following training, the Office will provide signs and posters to raise awareness that library staff have been trained to help, as well as providing resources to help promote the cyberbullying complaints scheme and raise awareness generally of how to stay safe online.
The Office also undertakes to provide regular updates on new resources, and to support library staff in answering queries from library patrons about reporting cyberbullying, and esafety generally.