Would you like some face-to-face digital support? As of September 2021, we are gradually reintroducing our free and friendly Computer Buddy service.
A small number of libraries have started offering bookings with their digital volunteers, with more locations to come in November. Phone one of the following libraries to make a booking:
- Bognor Regis
- East Grinstead
Or contact our Remote Digital Support Service on 0330 222 3455 if you would like some help over the phone.
Digital Unite, the online support site, have put together a set of COVID-19 guides and resources to help you while you’re self-isolating. These include: how to use social media to keep in touch, living well, remote working, online shopping and lots more!
Citizens Online have put together a list of COVID-19 support resources from around the web including online essentials, video conferencing and remote working.
Lots of us are having to work from home during the pandemic. You will have guidelines set by your employer but here are a few general pointers:
Good Housekeeping: 7 effective ways to work from home during the Coronavirus outbreak
ACAS: Advice on working from home from the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service
Employers are also using the internet for group chats and video conferencing. Here are some of their choices:
Google Hangouts - "Hangouts lets you video call, phone or message the people you love."
Go To Meetings - "Connect with anyone, anywhere. On any device."
Jitsi Meet - completely free video conferencing.
Slack - a collaboration hub where "the right people and the right information come together, helping everyone get work done".
WhatsApp - simple, secure messaging and calling for free*, available phones all over the world.
Zoom - video conferencing.
Do you need some digital support?
If you are struggling to get to grips with online services or know someone who could benefit from some basic digital support, we are offering a new Remote Digital Support service for library customers!
A small team of Library Digital Volunteers can now offer remote support for basic digital enquiries, such as:
- Accessing the library service’s online Current Offer
- Using email
- Using a digital device to connect with others, including video conferencing
- Transferring photos and files between devices
- General internet searching
- Accessing Learn My Way's free digital skills courses
- Accessing online government services
- Staying safe online
If you would like some digital support please phone 0330 222 3455, or email your name, phone number and a brief description of the help needed to email@example.com, and we will get in touch as soon as we can.
If you are looking to get internet at home there are a couple of choices. The following websites give information on how to get either broadband, mobile broadband or data for your smartphone.
If it's all new to you, read this guide from Ofcom about your different broadband options. Digital Unite also offer a beginner's guide for connecting to the internet.
The websites below you can compare different prices and see which are right for you. Listed below are some that are available:
- Uswitch for comparing home or mobile broadband (They also give information and advice on what to choose.)
- Broadband Choices for comparing home or mobile broadband. (They also give information and advice on what to choose.)
Money Saving Expert has a guide on getting the best deals with Data (internet) for your smartphone and a separate guide on for tablet Data (internet.)
Lots of people are turning to our eLibrary for eInformation, eBooks, eMagazines, eComics, eNewspapers and eAudiobooks.
If you'd like to use the eLibrary but don't know where to begin, or if you've been having problems with downloading or with your smartphone or tablet, we're here to help.
Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, telephone number and a brief description of the help you need. We'll then get in touch as soon as we can. It may not be possible to answer everything, but we will certainly try!
We all know about Facebook, Twitter and Instagram but did you know there are lots of ways to use social media for keeping in touch with friends and family?
If you're starting from scratch we recommend the Learn My Way video calling course as it covers all the basics and introduces the main apps.
Start with the basics with this video calling course from Learn My Way.
Here are some more online guides and tutorials you may find helpful.
BBC Step-by-step guide: How to video call your family
Digital Unite's technology guide to Skype.
More free video calling tutorials from the Goodwill Community Foundation.
Future Learn have pulled together a collection of online 'Boredom-busting' courses so you could start learing a new language or even learn about the mechanics of songwriting.
There are lots of free Learn My Way courses that you might find useful whilst you’re staying at home. For example, online shopping and managing your money online and improving your health.
The Skills Toolkit is full of new free online courses from the Department for Education and aims to support furloughed workers to boost their digital skills.
Want to find out how easy it is to start coding? Fancy yourself as a future programmer? Look no further! We have a whole page of resources to get you going, and we even have micro:bit coding kits you can borrow from your local library - for free!
Schools & families can request FREE mobile data increases for students without broadband and/or who can't afford extra data for devices. Three, Virgin Mobile, Smarty, EE, Tesco Mobile & Sky Mobile are all taking part in the scheme.
Digital Tech Aid has created some useful videos to learn how to use smartphones and other devices. The Digital Tech Aid Youtube channel provide step by step instructions on how to navigate a device’s main functions.
Whether you’re working from home, keeping tabs on your finances or finally starting that novel, you may need to use one of the Microsoft Office programs.
Office does have a help button for if you get stuck but you might need to look elsewhere too. Did you know that there are lots of tutorials on Youtube, from the absolute basic level right the way up to super advanced. Here’s a good example; this three minute clip from GCF tells you how to how to change or adjust the page layout in Word.
If you prefer text to video, a simple internet search, using the keywords “Microsoft Word Page Layout” will do the trick. NB Make sure that you choose the version of word that your device is running. They can vary greatly!