Telecentre Europe Awards 2016 Entry: e-Facilitator

Anna Maria Martinuzzi

Country: Italy

City/Town: Bologna

Work Place: BiblioBologna Cittadini per le biblioteche

Position: coordinator of volunteers in public libraries

Years in service in current organization: 3

Years in service as e-facilitator: 3

People supported/trained100

Nominated by:  Dr Grazia Guermandi, project manager, Regione Emilia-Romagna

1. WORK EXPERIENCE

BiblioBologna is a non–profit organization based in Bologna since 2011. It supports the organization of courses, seminars, meetings and conferences aimed at promoting public libraries services in the city of Bologna. Biblioblogna works in collaboration with the Librarian Institution of the municipality of Bologna. Bibliobologna started a specific activity on digital facilitation in 2012 in the main library of Bologna, called “Sala Borsa”, which is considered a major point of interest in the city of Bologna with 4.500 people visiting it every day. The target audience of the e-facilitation service is composed mainly of immigrants, women, people looking for a job, Italian citizens with a low level of ICT skills.

The association Bibliobologna e the Library Salaborsa has signed a "partnership pact" with the “City Council Libraries Institution” for managing this service. Anna Maria Martinuzzi is the coordinator of the e-inclusion activities carried out in Sala Borsa library.

2. PROFESSIONALISM

Ms Martinuzzi graduated in Pedagogy, and was selected in 1986 for Project I.D.A. (Computer science, teaching, learning) for primary schools under the supervision of the University of Bologna. In the last 2 years she has participated in a "Course on the critical safe use of the Internet" for e-facilitators and in an E-facilitation course provided by the Regione Emilia-Romagna.

The e-facilitation service is open to any citizen from January to December, every Thursday from 15.00 to 19.00; volunteers have 4 PCs with the possibility of wifi connection for those with their own devices; the facilitating activity is carried out in conjunction with other volunteers such as high school students engaged in school training on digital tutoring. Annamaria coordinates the group of volunteers, and she trains 4 people during each session, for a total of 120 annual meetings with citizens of different backgrounds.

3. ONE OF A KIND

Bibliologna has trained around 500 citizens in individual sessions of e-facilitation; the association organizes an intensive course of eBooks, taught by experienced people in the women's Library of Bologna.

Ms Martinuzzi is in charge of organizing other facilitators, and she plays a crucial role in making the e-facilitating service effective, thanks to her professional background in ICT services in the Civic Museum of Ancient Art of Bologna. The facilitating process has the main focus on empowering people through the use of technologies and web services.

Due to the economical crisis in Italy, very often e-facilitators have to help people who have lost their jobs and sometimes are facing poverty. The e-facilitators set up a customized learning path with each citizen; they identify the individual goals and they give little tasks to do at home, working on people's motivation and interests. The learning resources are the materials provided by the Regione Emilia-Romagna.

4. EXAMPLE

The example of Ms. Martinuzzi's effort in digital inclusion is about a middle-aged Egyptian man, who was a resident in Italy with his family and who had lost his job. The man decided to ask the librarian in Sala Borsa for help in finding a job with the use of the web. The librarian referred him to the digital facilitation service run by the Bibliobologna volunteers.

The man attended the laboratory on "Internet for searching a Job" organized by the association, and then he participated in several digital facilitation sessions at the library. At the end of the facilitation sessions he was able to search for a job independently, and he became very active in online searching.

After a few months the man found a job with a consequent improvement of his quality of life.

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