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By Michael Doran

Yarra Junction Library is holding a ‘Discover@your library’ day on 17 November from 10am to 1pm,  to show that there is more to a modern library than just books.

Whilst there will be a lot of books to choose from, there will also be plenty of activities for junior readers, like face-painting, story-tellers and a craft table to experiment on.

Instead of reading ‘ukulele and drumming for dummies’, visitors of all ages will be able to try the real thing, so for once the library will abandon the rule of silence.

With more and more media becoming digitally based, the library is aware that these new technologies can present challenges to its visitors.

To help with that, the library’s Digital Literacy Officer, will be on hand to assist people to get the most out of all the library has to offer, be it in printed or digital format.

The library is also involved with Mountain District Learning Centre in programs to help people of all ages who face literacy challenges.

The Yarra Valley has been identified as an area of low literacy and Mountain District Learning Centre is running programs to improve literacy skills for those challenged in this area.

Currently the centre is holding Literacy Nights on Wednesdays with two programs, ‘read write now’ and ‘digital literacy.’

The centre’s manager, Janet Claringbold, said that government funding has been made available to find ways of engaging with people whose lack of literacy skills may be holding them back.

“In so many areas of everyday life people need to interact on computers, such as government services, health services and so on,” she said. “If they can’t do that they are being left behind.”

“Society is advancing and the level of literacy required to find or keep any job is increasing,” she said. “Lack of literacy skills is the number issue employers complain about and the OECD has named Australia as a place where literacy levels are of concern.”

“The biggest issue we face is overcoming the stigma faced by people with low literacy levels in the community. We are finding if we can engage people with the digital side first then we can also help them with their reading skills.”

The free day is at Yarra Junction Library, 1a Hoddle Street Yarra Junction with more info on 9800 6462. Further details on the programs at Mountain District Learning Centre can be found at www.mdlc.com.au or on 9758 7859.

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