Sefton Libraries are taking part in a new national initiative to bring free Wi-Fi and hands-on digital support to libraries in the borough.
Sefton already supplies free Wi-Fi in three libraries, the Atkinson, Meadows and Netherton. The new scheme will see that provision extended to the libraries at Crosby, Formby and Bootle as part of a two year pilot programme.
BT will support the set-up of free Wi-Fi connectivity while BT Digital Friends and Barclays Digital Eagles, specially trained members of Barclays’ staff, will provide free technology advice to help local people build confidence and develop the skills they need to succeed in the digital world.
In the UK some 12 per cent of the adult population have never been online and this increases to 61 per cent for those over 75 years old. With so many opportunities from education, interacting with friends, job opportunities and access to government and health services all available online, it has never been more important for members of our community to start their digital journey.
Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton’s Cabinet member for Communities and Housing said, “I am delighted that Sefton Libraries are taking part in this initiative which will help to provide local communities with the tools and resources they need to get ahead in today’s digital world.
“In addition to free Wi-Fi, we are also planning to provide training opportunities such as coding clubs for children, “tea and teaches” events and silver surfer sessions for older users. I am sure that this scheme will help more people in Sefton to take advantages of the many opportunities which exist online.”
BT and Barclays have both committed to support the implementation of the Government’s Digital Inclusion strategy which aims to reduce the number of people offline in the UK by 25 per cent by 2016.
Free Wi-Fi will be set-up in Bootle and Crosby libraries later this month, with Formby coming online in September following its refurbishment.
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