Collaboration by NLB, PSD, IMDA and SDO to introduce senior-focused services at public libraries, aimed at ensuring digital inclusion and outreach
Singapore, 23 December 2020 – The National Library Board (NLB), the Public Service Division (PSD), the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and the SG Digital Office (SDO) have collaborated to make digital resources and public services more accessible for our seniors. The pilot SG Digital Office (SDO@NLB) at Geylang East Public Library serves as a digital satellite to bring various public services to the doorstep of seniors in the community.
2 The SDO@NLB hosts digital kiosks help seniors access over 200 selected digital government services, such as Central Provident Fund (CPF) nominations and Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) applications. Since the pilot started in early November 2020, seniors have made about 1,200 online transactions with various public agencies at this digital integrated public services satellite centre.
3 While all the 25 public libraries have Digital Ambassadors (DAs) to provide seniors with personalised assistance, Geylang East Public Library is the only library that offers both an SG Digital community hub and the pilot one-stop access point to public services together. This is part of the Government-wide effort to integrate and focus services around citizens, as well as foster digital inclusion.
4 Those who wish to access public services digitally can use any of the three self-service kiosks at the SDO@NLB, located on Level 1 of the Geylang East Public Library. Public Service Ambassadors are on-site to assist seniors who need help navigating digital platforms and making digital transactions. Seniors can also make appointments for virtual one-on-one consultations with selected government agencies such as the CPF Board via the video-conferencing pod for assistance with more complex services. Seniors who may need personalised assistance to learn basic digital skills on how to use applications such as WhatsApp or SingPass, as well as making e-payments can also seek one-on-one assistance from SDO’s DAs at the SG Digital community hub on Level 2.
5 The SDO was set up in June 2020 to accelerate Singapore’s digitalisation by building on and ramping up existing efforts to equip every individual and business, including our seniors and small businesses, with digital tools and skills to participate meaningfully in the social and economic environment post-COVID-19. SDO has since deployed 1,000 DAs and set up 55 SG Digital community hubs across Singapore to reach out to a wider community. SDO has trained more than 50,000 seniors.
6 In addition to training, seniors who are 60 years old and above, and supported by the Ministry of Social and Family Development’s ComCare assistance or Housing and Development Board’s Public Rental Scheme, may apply for the Mobile Access for Seniors scheme at these community hubs. To date, 5,400 low income seniors have benefited from the subsidised smartphones and data plans under the scheme.
7 To complement these services to ensure digital inclusion, NLB will be launching the monthly Library Learning Journeys at 25 public libraries from February 2021. Led by DAs, these sessions will teach seniors new ways of using our library’s services and e-resources, such as QR codes and eNewspapers. Seniors can register for the Library Learning Journeys at any of the SG Digital community hubs. Each session will take about one hour, is free and will be conducted in line with safe management measures due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. The list of public libraries with SG Digital community hubs and upcoming Library Learning Journeys can be found in the Annex.
8 Mr Ng Cher Pong, NLB’s Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are fully committed to helping every senior who is interested, to bridge the digital divide. By partnering with PSD, IMDA and SDO, we can bring these integrated services to our senior patrons, and equip them with the necessary skills to participate meaningfully in a digitally connected society. With these services, seniors can learn many digital skills in our libraries and immediately put their newly-acquired skills into use. These also complement our growing array of digital and physical offerings for seniors and reinforce the role of libraries as vital community nodes for lifelong learning and reading.”
9 More information on the SG Digital community hubs can be found at www.sdo.gov.sg.
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About National Library Board
The National Library Board (NLB) nurtures Readers for Life, Learning Communities and a Knowledgeable Nation by promoting reading, learning and history through its network of 27 public libraries, the National Library and the National Archives of Singapore. NLB also forges strategic partnerships that encourage awareness, appreciation and greater discovery of Singapore’s history through its rich collections on Singapore and the region.
NLB achieves excellence through innovation, focusing on citizen engagement and co-creation, resource and digital innovation. This creates learning opportunities, greater access to library resources, services and archival collections, as well as a continual development of innovative library spaces. Established on 1 September 1995 as a statutory board, NLB is under the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI).
About Public Service Division
The Public Service Division (PSD) aims to build a first class Public Service for a successful and vibrant Singapore. We achieve this through developing strong leadership and engaged officers, preparing our agencies to be future-ready, and promoting good governance - to meet our mission of delivering excellent public services and enabling effective government. We are the central agency for Public Service personnel-related issues, Public Sector Transformation and governance matters. For more information, visit www.psd.gov.sg.
About Infocomm Media Development Authority
The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) leads Singapore’s digital transformation with infocomm media. To do this, IMDA will develop a dynamic digital economy and a cohesive digital society, driven by an exceptional infocomm media (ICM) ecosystem – by developing talent, strengthening business capabilities, and enhancing Singapore's ICM infrastructure. IMDA also regulates the telecommunications and media sectors to safeguard consumer interests while fostering a pro-business environment, and enhances Singapore’s data protection regime through the Personal Data Protection Commission. For more news and information, visit www.imda.gov.sg or follow IMDA on Facebook IMDAsg and Twitter @IMDAsg.
About the Singapore Digital Office (SDO)
The Singapore Digital Office (SDO), established under the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), drives our concerted nationwide movement to accelerate digital adoption in our community. To achieve this, SDO will work with like-minded members of the community, corporate entities and individuals to reach out to every citizen, worker and business, to equip them with the digital tools and skills to participate meaningfully in the evolving social and economic environment. Through this whole-of-nation movement, we will ensure every Singaporean has a place in our shared digital future. For more information, visit www.sdo.gov.sg or follow SDO on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
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