Spreading the word: how public libraries are helping to extend digital inclusion
Keywords:digital inclusion, digital participation, information literacy
AbstractPublic libraries are on the frontline in the battle to engage those lacking IT skills, offering free access to the internet and support where required. The range of services available online has increased exponentially in the last few years to the extent that those without IT skills are at a considerable disadvantage. This has been recognised by governments at UK, Scottish and local authority level and the push to offer basic training is on. Public libraries have a vitally important role to play in encouraging citizens to meet their full potential, by opening up access to information, education, employment and entitlements only available online. Bridging the crucial skills gap cannot be achieved without significant investment in the hardware, software and staffing public libraries provide. Properly resourced, they are uniquely placed to meet growing demand.
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