Avondale Libraries, in Cooranboing, will use a $2000 grant to help older locals develop digital skills at a free ebook course in memoir writing.
The six-week course is open to 30 people who will learn the basics of not only writing but publishing an ebook.
The presenter is Bruce Thompson, a physiotherapist who “loves his Kindle [an ereader designed and marketed by Amazon] almost as much as helping others enjoy reading and publishing Kindle books".
Those registering for the course, at Avondale College of Higher Education, will have the opportunity to receive their own Kindle as Avondale Libraries is giving away two Kindle Paperwhites.
Mr Thompson understands the value of telling and keeping stories - he has published four Kindle books on Amazon.
“Our stories shape us,” says historian Dr Robyn Priestley, a member of the Friends of the Library Committee.
“Every story is important to the person to which it belongs, but many are also important to the communities from which they come. If stories are not told, their absence creates a collective amnesia.”
Committee chair Michelle Down applied for the grant in part because she enjoys listening to older people talk about their lives.
“They have such rich stories to tell, but once they die, those stories are lost forever," Ms Down said.
"We need to preserve the memoirs of our older citizens. Writing an ebook is an easy way to do this.”
It is also a good fit for a service that seeks to “stimulate continued educational experiences and lifelong interest in library use” and provide resources and information for those in the Seventh-day Adventist Church community, and the wider general community.
The grant is part of Be Connected, a $20-million Australian Government program to increase the confidence, skills and online safety of older Australians when they use the internet.
It comes from program partner Good Things Foundation, which is recruiting and developing a Be Connected network.
Avondale Libraries will offer the course in two identical sessions every Tuesday from May 7 to June 11. Participants must be aged 55 years or older.
Register at libfriends.weebly.com. For details phone 4980 2129, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Brenton Stacey is public relations officer at Avondale College of Higher Education.