A joint project of the Ministry of Digital Transformation and the Ukrainian Library Association, implemented in cooperation with UNDP and with funding from Sweden, supported the development of the capabilities of Digital Education Hub libraries
Digital Education Hubs: Over 3,000 libraries now teaching Ukrainians digital literacy
November 17, 2023
Kyiv, 17 November 2023 – The Ministry of Digital Transformation together with partners has completed its “Development of Digital Education Hubs Libraries’ Capabilities” project, which it started October 2022. As part of the project, representatives of the Ukrainian Library Association conducted a weeklong online training course for trainers of the librarians working in the regional training centres in each region.
After their studies, the trainers held further sessions for the librarians who are acting as the coordinators of the Hubs in 12 regions of the country. The coordinators, in turn, teach citizens digital skills.
The trainees learned about the services of Digital Education Hubs and the work of Hub coordinators in libraries. A separate series of lectures was devoted to the topic of information and cyber security for library users.
Valeriia Ionan, Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation for European Integration, said: “As of 2022, there were more than 26,000 libraries in Ukraine, visited by more than 240,000 users. Many of them joined the popularization of educational innovations and became official hubs of digital education. We value cooperation with the Ukrainian Library Association, because by strengthening the competencies of librarians, we facilitate access to digital services and information for all Ukrainian citizens. Thanks to the support of our partners, Ukrainian libraries can become places where everyone can learn throughout their lives.”
Hub-coordinator librarians also organized digital literacy training sessions for residents of their communities. People learned how to use computers and the Internet by taking courses on the Diia.Education platform, namely, they watched the online series “Basic digital skills for people of an elegant age.” The course was specially developed for older people with the support of UNDP and Sweden, and can be a helpful tool for libraries in their classes with users.
In addition, as part of the project, Ukrainian Library Association experts developed the “Libraries – Digital Education Hubs” manual. It is designed to help librarians create and develop the operations of a library-based Digital Education Hub.
Christophoros Politis, Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP in Ukraine, said that digital literacy is one of the main areas in which UNDP works closely with the Ministry of Digital Transformation and other partners.
“47% of Ukrainians who did not use public electronic services in 2022 cited a lack of skills as the main reason,” Politis says. “Therefore, digital literacy is key for providing access to online services to Ukrainians, and the number of such services is constantly growing due to the leadership and efforts of the Ukrainian government to digitize public services.”
“By supporting the initiatives of our government partners to promote digital literacy, UNDP aims to overcome the digital divide in the country, so that all Ukrainians can benefit equally from the results of digitalization.”
Digital Education Hubs have already proven their effectiveness. People who received training at them now rate their digital skills significantly higher. A survey of Hub users showed that while earlier 43.3% of them claimed to have below-average digital skills, after graduation only 9.7% gave themselves a low rating.
Oksana Brui, the president of the Ukrainian Library Association, said: “The project made it possible for the coordinators of Hub libraries to deepen their knowledge and skills in digitalization, exchange experience, and get acquainted with best practices,” she said. “They will be able to provide their digital literacy services to citizens even more effectively. And the survey of Hub users, who positively assessed the growth of their digital skills and knowledge, clearly testified to the applied and important results of the project in developing the capacity of libraries, and therefore, our joint work with the Ministry of Digital Transformation and UNDP.”
Moreover, the Ministry of Digital Transformation in cooperation with partners is developing a Digigram for librarians. A Digigram is a test that helps people assess their digital literacy and increase the level of their digital skills. It will soon be presented on the Diia.Osvita platform.
The Ministry of Digital Transformation implemented the project in cooperation with the Ukrainian Library Association and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine, as part of the DIA Support project, with funding from Sweden.
Yuliia Samus, UNDP Ukraine Communications Team Leader, email@example.com
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