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Helping hand . . . Frances O'Neill is very appreciative of Oamaru Public Library library assistant Martin Bratina's assistance in setting up her vaccination pass. PHOTO: RUBY HEYWARD

As people scramble to organise their vaccination passes, the Oamaru Public Library is here to help.

Last week, library staff swung into action to create a self›help directional brochure to assist people to set up their passes and started offering one›on›one assistance.

Waitaki District Libraries manager Jenny Bean said the Oamaru Public Library had been very busy since the service started being advertised last week.

Reference and digital services librarian Debbie Price-Ewen said there was a sense of desperation as the new system approached and people struggled to set up their vaccination passes.

‘‘This is historical stuff in the making,’’ Mrs Price-Ewen said.

She felt there had not been a lot of time between the announcement of the vaccination pass and its enforcement, and there was little technical support out there.

But the library was helping to fill that gap, Ms Bean said.

‘‘That’s what the library is about,’’ she said.

People particularly struggled with remembering their email passwords. Some couples had joint emails, and needed assistance setting up an additional one to create their vaccination pass.

In addition to one›on›one support, the library was also printing valid vaccination passes for free.

‘‘A lot of people don’t use smart phones,’’ Ms Bean said.

Yet a lot of people were now realising how important digital literacy was, she said.
Mrs Price-Ewen said after the first lockdown, a lot of older people realised they could ‘‘upskill themselves to their advantage’’.

Now people were recognising the vaccination pass as a step towards normality, she said.
The Oamaru Public Library offered its one›on›one assistance between 10.30am to 12pm on weekdays, and the self-help brochures would be available at Waitaki community libraries.