I am getting frequent questions about whether the home delivery self-service option is still available for Skinny Jump. The short answer is “yes”, but please read on so that I can explain the ‘but‘.
All Jump inquiries are directed to a delivery partner organisation and our preference (from both a support and financial perspective) is for people to front up to a local partner. There are now 196 publicly listed locations where people can go to get a Skinny Jump modem and new locations are being added every week.
The advantages are manifold:
(1) Partners are able more easily to assess the eligibility of the applicants;
(2) Partners are able to assist applicants set up their Skinny accounts, making sure they have a working email (and one they can remember the password for!);
(3) Partners are able to explain what customers can do with 30GB data and how they are limited to five plan renewals (total of 150GB) a month;
(4) Partners are able to explain the top up/ plan renewal process, so that customers feel confident about doing this when their first month’s internet expires;
(5) Partners are welcome to engage interpreters for customers who have English as a second language, and claim back costs from DIAA;
(6) Partners are able to offer opportunities for new internet users to participate in scheduled Stepping UP or Better Digital Futures digital literacy classes;
(7) Partners are able to develop a relationship with the customer, so that they are encouraged to return for other library services.
BUT, if for any reason the customer finds it difficult to get to a Jump partner, e.g. they could live a long way away or may have physical disabilities that prevent them from travelling, partners are welcome to use the online application form. Note that the Application Form has been amended to require the name of the person making the referral and their organisation. Applicants must also give a reason why they can’t visit a Jump partner.
I think this is a pretty universal position that it is too early for libraries and other public facilities to start issuing Jump modems. Since my last post on the Level 2 restrictions for Jump, our library partners seem to agree that while their facilities are officially open, social distancing, cleaning requirements and in some cases, limitations on the length of time people can stay in the facility, make it simply too difficult for group activities. However, the good news is that everyone seems very happy to keep operating in the same way as the have been for the last 8 weeks, i.e. accepting Jump inquiries from their community and where necessary, assisting with the completion of the online application form. Modems are then couriered directly to applicants’ homes, with a user guide explaining how to set up the Jump modem and open a Skinny account.
So our proposal is that from next week most Jump partner sites listed on the Skinny Jump map will be updated to read:
Contact us during normal business hours to sign up for Jump.
A contact name and normal business telephone number will then replace the personal mobile number of the staff member working from home.
Our proposal is that this will become the default information, but individual partners may choose slight variations to this wording if required. For example, some library staff have approval to continue working from home and managing Jump inquiries by phone. The Partner map information will then read:
Jump classes suspended until further notice. Phone us to sign up for Jump.
We ask all public Jump delivery partners to review the information on the Skinny map and advise us of any changes required (firstname.lastname@example.org).
In Auckland, 31 libraries are opening on 20 May and the other 24 immediately after Queen’s Birthday weekend (2 June).
We expect these updates to be made by Wednesday 20 May.
A few weeks ago I posted about what might happen to the home-delivery Jump service once we moved to Level 2. I suggested that this really is in your hands as our delivery partners; we hope that you can continue offering assistance with Jump signups and progressively move back to delivering the modems as well. But there is no panic. We realise tomorrow is a new day and for many of you, your first day back in your premises after nearly two months. While I would like to think that Jump signups are on your priority list, I suspect your managers (and their managers) might have other priorities, like managing social distancing and keeping all your surfaces clean. So, as I mentioned in my previous post, we will continue to provide the home delivery option. This means you can continue to help sign people up in your communities and we will courier the modem to them. However, if you are willing to recommence with local modem deliveries, do let us know at email@example.com and we will turn on your auto-restocking trigger.
Just one important thing to remember, if you are issuing the modem, please complete the Stepping UP Profile Form. If you want us to send the modem please complete the Jump Application Form.
We recognise that with the move to Covid-19 level 3 today many Jump partners are starting to think about the impact of moving to level 2. While it is expected that public venues, such as libraries, will be permitted to open under level 2, the one metre distancing rule will make it difficult to offer a full range of services.
Whether or not Jump partners wish to resume offering Jump to their communities under level 2 will be a decision for them to make. We are able to continue to offer the national self-service Jump option as long as it is required, but we also look forward to the day when all partners are able to resume providing the additional face-to-face support that so many people still require.
I had a message from one of our self-service recipients the other day. He said in a brief email “OK, I’ve got the modem. What now?”. While the Skinny Helpdesk is providing this follow up support, we know many people would much prefer to talk with someone they know in their local communities.
A new library research initiative by the Equity Through Education Research Centre at Massey University is underway and library managers and staff throughout New Zealand are invited to participate. The research seeks to investigate the role of public libraries in promoting digital inclusion and overcoming the digital divide.
We encourage all DIAA library partners delivering Stepping UP or JUMP programmes to participate in these surveys:
Library staff survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LXJGTY7
Library Managers’ Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HRKDVMK
The research is being conducted by Dr Maggie Hartnett, Associate Professor Mandia Mentis, Associate Professor Alison Kearney, Dr Lucila Carvalho, and Dr Philippa Butler. Any questions about the research or about this survey should be referred to Maggie Hartnett, at firstname.lastname@example.org.