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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Libraries help 250000 people get online (UK)

Libraries help 250000 people get onlinePublic Libraries in the UK have helped more than a quarter of a million people, with no previous online experience, to go online. Libraries are a key partners in the UK's Raceonline2012, spearheaded by Martha Lane Fox, and in September 2010 the Society of Chief Librarians pledged to get 500,000 people online by the end of 2012. All front line library staff are digital champions who not only promote digital services to their customers but also support them to go online, building skills and confidence where required. Nearly 30% of households in the UK do not have access to the internet at home and for many people the local library is an essential link for access to online resources. As government moves towards digital as a key way to help people access public services, public libraries provide a vital community internet service that is available to everyone and, in more than 90% of libraries, is free of charge. SCL President, Nicky Parker, said: "We are thrilled that libraries are already halfway to the target of 500,000 people by the end of 2012. Public Libraries are trusted places in the community and what better place to access information."

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