HONING IN: Delving onto the internet for the first time are (from left) Lisa Stanistreet, of Ballina, Andrea Forrest-Brown, of Teven and Don Anderton, of Lennox Head.
HONING IN: Delving onto the internet for the first time are (from left) Lisa Stanistreet, of Ballina, Andrea Forrest-Brown, of Teven and Don Anderton, of Lennox Head. Doug Eaton

Facing up to a whole new world

WHO SAYS you can't teach an old dog new tricks?

The staff at Ballina Library are proving it can be done.

Throughout September the library is running courses on-demand for people wanting to break down the barriers to the online world of blogs, YouTube, Facebook and Wikipedia.

“We're not experts,” Ballina area librarian Kerrie Fairlie said.

“We just want to give people the basics in a non-threatening way.

“We've certainly got older people who feel quite empowered who can now communicate with their grandchildren overseas,” Ms Fairlie said.

“There's new challenges at every age.”

Andrea Forrest-Brown, from Teven, went along to one of the Ballina Library courses this week to learn specifically about the social networking site, Twitter.

“I heard about it on breakfast TV. My adult children have Facebook, but they haven't told mum so I'm blocked out,” she joked.

Ms Forrest-Brown said that thus far she only used the internet at home for emails and to search for information through Google.

But the 65-year-old said she still had reservations about signing up to Facebook.

“At the moment I've reservations like confidentiality laws and information being passed around,” she said.

At her daughter's age of 32, long-distance communication was only through letters, so the shift was enormous, Ms Forrest-Brown said.

“When I was her age it was a letter and people were notoriously bad at writing letters,” she said. “I have a shoe box full of letters.”

Lisa Stanistreet, 47, said she came to the course because she wanted to join Facebook.

“But I wanted to get some more information first,” she said.

“I know quite a few people on Facebook. It's just a matter of keeping in touch with friends in Sydney and overseas.”

Contact Ballina Library on 6686 2831 for more information.



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