The Callander Public Library is making sure older adults won’t get left out.
The library has launched its Connecting Seniors Initiative using a grant from the province’s Seniors Community Grant Program.
Melissa Sones, CEO of the library, says she saw the importance of getting older adults educated on new technologies as the pandemic forced many social interactions to go virtual.
“As we turn more to virtual gatherings and we’re meeting more online, it’s a technology that’s not always accessible to seniors,” she said. “We saw this as an opportunity to meet those needs of the seniors in our community.”
Through the program, seniors can loan a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to a week while receiving lessons on how to run video calls and other internet services.
Before the pandemic, the library was already running tech lessons for older adults, which have since become virtual. Those, however, are only available to seniors who already have an internet connection.
“We can’t just make the technology available, we have to make it so it’s accessible and they know how to use it,” noted Sones, adding some seniors may struggle to afford internet service.
“A lot of us, I think, take for granted having those skills,” Sones continued. “But for a lot of older adults, those skills don’t come easy to them.”
The Connecting Seniors Initiative will run until April 30. Sones says she hopes to be able to continue offering the service and potentially expand it to more of the library’s membership.