Big Sky Libraries acknowledged as cyber safety leader

Big Sky Libraries has been acknowledged as cyber safety leader.

The local facility, which includes branches in Moree, Walgett, Lightning Ridge and Brewarrina, has been recognised as an eSmart Library Service by the Alannah & Madeline Foundation and the Telstra Foundation.

This means Big Sky Libraries is equipped to support its customers to use technology in a smart, safe and responsible way.

eSmart Libraries is one of the most significant community cyber safety programs ever undertaken in Australia, with 80 per cent of all libraries in Australia currently involved in the program.

Big Sky Libraries Co-operative library manager Sally Walters said the they are excited and proud to be an eSmart library service.

"This has been the culmination of hard work by our library staff to integrate cyber safety in our daily operations, staff development and organisational culture," she said.

CEO of the Alannah & Madeline Foundation Lesley Podesta said this achievement was a significant milestone in the Foundation's journey towards creating an eSmart Australia, where all Australians are safe, smart and responsible online.

"Being eSmart means knowing how to guard against security and privacy risks online, download content in a legal and ethical way, research and reference information, and manage reputation and relationships in cyberspace," she said.

"Big Sky Libraries continuous dedication and enthusiasm for the eSmart program, shows that local communities are as committed to promoting cyber safety as we are.

"This is important given almost half the Australian population is a member of their local library and there were 114 million visits in the past year; libraries are a great environment for sharing the best tips to equip Australians from all walks of life with the skills to be safe online. This is a big leap forward towards creating an eSmart Australia."

By making the online library experience safer for everyone, eSmart Libraries will give more Australians the opportunity to experience the social and economic benefits of new digital technologies.

Launched in August 2012 by the former Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon. Julia Gillard MP, the $8 million, multi-year partnership with the Telstra Foundation is delivering eSmart Libraries in collaboration with Australia's library network to all 1,500 public libraries in Australia.