By Meg Kennedy
Filling out forms and navigating websites are tasks many of us take for granted, but a service in Moorabool will assist those who need help with documents and internet literacy.
A new program at the Lerderderg Library in Bacchus Marsh is dedicated to help complete the every-day tasks of filling in forms, reading documents, writing important letters and more, through the new ‘Paperwork Lounge’ service.
Moorabool Shire Mayor Cr Paul Tatchell officially launched the Paperwork Lounge at the Library last Thursday, 5 September, along with representatives from the State Library of Victoria, Lerderderg Library, The Laurels Community College, and volunteers for the service.
The Lerderderg Library was one of just nine successful applicants to receive funding from the State Library of Victoria to help get the project off the ground.
Cr Tatchell said at the launch the service was “fantastic” as “you cannot move throughout this world, or in any government departments, without using [technology] equipment.”
“The frustration for those people when they’re not able to do anything, because they don’t know how to do it; to be able come to the library and have people say, ‘I’ll give you a hand, we’ll work together’…is fantastic”, he said.
“Libraries are the mould; today they’re learning centres, they’re places that people go, and they’re places where people come to help and keep communities together – especially in regional areas, where we are somewhat isolated.”
Council Customer Service officer Wesley Hutchesson said the service allows community members to receive the assistance library staff don’t have the time to help with.
“We have a constant flow of people coming to our campus seeking assistance with filling out forms and understanding documents…its hard for us to deliver, so we don’t have the opportunities to spend [time] sitting down with somebody on an individual basis to work through the forms or letters,” he said.
“We’re driven to provide quality customer service, quality and experiences not only through the library in general, but through the Paperwork Lounge as well.”
The service will be provided by trained volunteers from diverse backgrounds, from former teachers, workers in administrative roles, customer service and ex-military.
“The lifeline for this whole project is our volunteers,” said Mr Hutchesson.
The Paperwork Lounge is currently operating at the Lerderderg Library with a service also at Ballan Community House on Wednesday mornings between 10am-12pm.
The service is looking to expand to Darley Neighbourhood House in the future.
For more information, contact Lerderderg Library on 5366 7100.