New information centres for 4.5 million Dutch lacking digital literacy skills

Dutch libraries are rapidly establishing service points to assist millions of citizens with limited digital skills, providing support in navigating online government services and addressing the growing demand for digital literacy.

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Dutch libraries are rapidly establishing service points known as ‘Informatiepunten Digitale Overheid’ (IDO) to assist the millions of Dutch citizens with limited digital skills. There are 682 IDOs throughout the country, and their numbers are growing. These service points aim to address the increasing demand for digital literacy and support in navigating online government services.

Dutch State Secretary for Digitalisation Van Huffelen met in Rotterdam with the union of libraries to celebrate receiving their 100,000th digital assistance request since the program’s inception in 2019. The most common challenges visitors face relate to the digital ID (DigiD), including issues with its application, activation, and app installation.

Research indicates that around 4.5 million adults in the Netherlands struggle with accessing digital government information and utilizing online services. While seniors, particularly those aged 65 and above, make up a significant portion of the inquiries at the IDOs, individuals with low literacy, mild intellectual disabilities, and non-native speakers also encounter difficulties in the digital world.