The important role of libraries in providing social and digital inclusion for a connected society

Seinäjoki City Library in Finland has initiated a project using Hublet as a primary tool to promote cultural well-being, inspire the elderly to read again, and cultivate the interest in learning and developing digital skills. Kirsti LänsikallioSeinäjoki City Library’s Director of Library Services – spoke about the need for a service of loanable tablet device services in Finland, to serve the rapidly increasing number of elderly people.

This project is a great example of promoting social and digital inclusion among elderly citizens. The loanable tablet devices provided by Hublet help the elderly learn digital skills and access the library’s electronic collections from their homes. Today, decreasing the digital divide is especially important in society; digital literacy is becoming increasingly important, and many elderly citizens may feel excluded from the digital world.

Positive feedback from the elderly

The project included a group of six elderly people; as well as students from “Library Studies” who were asked to guide them. The feedback provided by the elderly has been positive. According to them, this project has brought joy, and a sense of equality and involvement – a feeling that they’re a part of society. On the other hand, the project has also helped young students gain experience in meeting the elderly. Thus, it can be assumed, that projects like this can help prevent social isolation and loneliness among the elderly, which is an important issue in today’s society.

“It was new, as I have lived here 2 years already alone and there hasn’t been anyone. So that in mind, it was nice that they [the students] came”.

Kauko – one elderly

Through this project, the Seinäjoki City Library is not only promoting cultural well-being and inspiring the elderly to read again; but also ensuring that they are not left behind in the digital age. It offers tangible, and actionable social inclusion by providing a tool for younger and older generations to form meaningful connections with personal mentoring sessions. And with the safe and curated content on Hublet Tablets, the library is making it easier for the elderly to access and use digital technologies, which can positively impact their lives.

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The need for easy access to the content

The project is still running. And Jaana Savela – Project Manager – comments that they are learning new things all the time. They have realised that the elderly prefer personal mentoring, calm,  and repetition; in a peaceful environment to learn new things. Also, accessibility is a huge advantage of Hublet, as users don’t have to look for information, curated content is ready to be used on the home screen.

“It’s a positive thing, that in Hublet everything is visible immediately, so you will try them out.”

Seija – one elderly

The Seinäjoki City Library project team found out that Ebooks and audiobooks were popular among the elderly, along with movies, videos, newspapers, and documents. Besides that, the elderly also listen to music, practice exercises, and watch nature scenes on the tablets. Moving forward, the library plans to make the project permanent with a proper loaning system, where customers can loan devices to take home for a month. The library staff will offer guidance with the Hublet Tablets, and the aim is to continue promoting and developing the project further with more diversified content on Hublet Tablets.

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The project has proven that Hublet is a valuable resource for libraries aiming to offer their patrons equal and easy access to technology. With its user-friendly interface and easy-to-use platform, Hublet is an ideal solution for libraries looking to enhance their digital presence by delivering easy access to digital technologies and cultural resources. Libraries can utilise Hublet to reduce the digital divide, create opportunities for intergenerational connection and social interaction which promotes digital and social inclusion.

“I certainly think there’s a need for that. Many people want to try this kind of tablet device, and it can be their first experience with the internet world. It’s good that we have this kind of safe alternative for them.”

Jaana Savela – Project Manager

To learn more about Hublet for libraries: