We are now recruiting for a number of roles to refresh, develop and extend the digital offer across the West Yorkshire library network.
Covid-19 has highlighted and exacerbated the challenges facing those who have limited digital access to the internet. For example, 1.9 million households have no access to the internet. Tens of millions are reliant on pay-as-you-go services to make phone calls or to access healthcare, education and benefits online. People with disabilities are almost four times more likely to be digitally excluded. Those who are digitally excluded also suffer from poorer health. This picture is mirrored across the West Yorkshire region where tens of thousands of adults are offline or have very limited digital skills. In Leeds, for example, 40% of council housing tenants are not online.
Since 2001, public library services have supported these people – and others – through the People’s Network. This is the provision of free public access computers throughout the library networks. It has had a massive impact for those who would not otherwise have been able to get online.
As we begin to recover from Covid-19, we have seen a greater shift of activity online which has further marginalised these people. West Yorkshire Digital Libraries is our strategy to take the next step in encouraging and supporting digital inclusion across the region.
There are two parts to the programme:
- Rollout of an upgraded network including a tablet lending scheme and the development of the skills within the library and connected services to create digital champions across West Yorkshire
- Creation of partnerships to make better use of these new digital connections. This includes development of new ways to support to children and families who are digitally excluded, support around housing and preventing homelessness, supporting people into employment, broadening support for small businesses, and the creation of digital health hubs in libraries.
The roles are:
- Project Manager (£35,745 pro rata) - Managing and coordinating the service, engaging the reference group and reporting into the West Yorkshire Libraries Heads of Service Group
- Project Administrator (£25,481 pro rata) - Administration of the project and supporting the project manager
- Five Library Service Leads (£31,346 pro rata) - Each responsible for training digital champions, delivery of the device lending scheme and integration with the workstreams within one of the individual Library Service/Local Authority in West Yorkshire
- Five Workstream Leads (£31,346 pro rata) - Each responsible for coordination, delivery and securing ongoing funding for one of the workstreams:
- Children and Families Services
- Business Support
The roles will be based across the West Yorkshire region or from home. All posts are for a fixed-term period from 1 September 2021 (or as close as possible to that date) to 31 March 2022. Detailed job descriptions and person specifications for the roles can be found in the web pages attached to this article. If successful with the funding we have a short time to deliver the project and so we are open to any options around recruitment that may help expedite recruitment including secondments, part-time and shared working arrangements. Please do include these suggestions in a covering letter.
All roles are subject to funding being confirmed. We do not expect anyone to work on and submit an application before we know whether the funding is in place for the roles. We will let you know as soon as funding is confirmed and will make sure you have at least a week to submit your application.
Please register your details and we will update you on funding before you need to submit your application. If you have any queries please get in touch with email@example.com.
Please note if the funding is not successful we will end the recruitment process without appointing. We may also delay the recruitment process if we do not have the outcome confirmed within the expected timeframe. If we are unsuccessful with the funding, we are committed to seeking other sources of funding for the different elements of the project but we cannot at this stage outline when or how this might look. If you express an interest in these posts we will keep you up to date with future developments as they become clearer.