Digital Learning Day offers free support for those wanting to get on the web

On Thursday 23 April - Digital Learning Day - hundreds of business volunteers will be poised at keyboards in libraries across the country, ready to provide FREE IT taster sessions to anyone who wants to get online for the first time, or those wishing to improve their digital knowledge and skills.

The sessions will help people get to grips with the Internet in general, including how to use search engines, websites, email and social media on desktop computers, tablets and smartphones.

This skills development initiative is organised by Business in the Community Northern Ireland (BITCNI) in partnership with the Department of Finance, and supported by Libraries NI.

Angela McCartney, Communities Executive for BITCNI, said: “In today’s digital world it can seem as though everything has moved online. The shift to online services has changed the way in which we live, work and socialise, but there are still many people who aren’t benefiting from being online

“We all know someone who isn’t online. It might be your mum or dad, your gran, your next-door neighbour or even a friend. If so, please encourage them to come along to a Digital Learning Day training session. The sessions are easy to book – all they (or you!) have to do is contact a local library and a FREE training session will be organised.

“Our training sessions are taken by friendly volunteers who are passionate about sharing their skills. They are all very patient and get a real sense of reward from helping others. The sessions are one-to-one and can cover a range of things, from learning how to stay connected to friends and family through Facebook or Skype; to learning how to order your grocery shopping online, or perhaps even setting up an email account. We’ve had great feedback from participants in previous years who found the sessions very worthwhile, and I’d encourage anyone who is keen to find out more about the internet to come along.”

Iggy O’Doherty, Director of Digital Shared Services in the Department of Finance, added: “This programme is part of our ‘Go ON NI’ programme which aims to encourage as many people as possible to go online, address any barriers, promote the benefits of accessing the Internet, and highlight the convenience of online public services. I am delighted the sessions are being supported in this proactive way by Business in the Community and grateful to the many volunteers from businesses across NI who are giving up their time to help others.”

Jim O’Hagan, Libraries NI Chief Executive, said “This year, 16 libraries across Northern Ireland are pleased to take part in Digital Learning Day. Libraries are important places for people to connect with information, IT, reading and learning opportunities. Libraries NI is committed to promoting lifelong learning and helping people to access a wide range of services to make the most of these opportunities not only on Digital Learning Day but at any time of the year.

“It is hoped that all attendees will enjoy the event and continue to avail of the computers, free broadband and Wi-Fi facilities available in all libraries to practise their new skills or perhaps sign up to a Go ON course to take their learning one step further. Library membership is free and those that sign up can benefit from free internet access, borrow books, attend events, and explore our range of eBooks and eMagazines – a perk of getting to grips with the internet through Digital Learning Day!”

The following libraries will be taking part in Digital Learning Day:

  • Antrim
  • Banbridge
  • Bangor Carnegie
  • Carrickfergus
  • Cookstown
  • Derry Central
  • Finaghy
  • Glengormley
  • Holywood Arches
  • Lisburn City
  • Newry City
  • Newtownards
  • Omagh
  • Ormeau Road
  • Portadown
  • Rathcoole

To book your place, contact your local library or call the Libraries NI Customer Services Line on 0345 4504 580 (Monday to Friday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm).

To register as a Digital Learning Day volunteer, visit or call (028) 9046 0606.

You can also find out more information about the ‘Go ON NI’ programme at: