The Inside Government event included speakers from the UK Parliament, local councils, The Good Things Foundation, and Citizens Online. Dr Allmann shared preliminary findings from the Oxfordshire Digital Inclusion Project, a Knowledge Exchange collaboration with Oxfordshire County Council Libraries to study how public libraries are meeting digital needs of limited and non-users of the internet.
In framing the event, Dr Allmann said in her opening remarks how she was compelled to launch the Oxfordshire Digital Inclusion Project after serving as a volunteer digital helper in the Oxfordshire County Library for several years. "I saw first-hand what the digital divide looks like from the perspective of library customers lacking meaningful digital access and skills," she said. "I felt there was a striking disconnect between how we theorize digital exclusion and how it actually is — on the ground."
She called for e-government platforms to be designed better -- with marginalised users in mind -- by minimizing the number of digital skills necessary to easily and safely get online for those goal-oriented tasks.
The findings from the Oxfordshire Digital Inclusion Project will be published in forthcoming report, Libraries on the Front Lines of the Digital Divide.
Read her opening remarks here.