Computers in public libraries: Local examples tell a national story
A new book highlighting the importance of the People’s Network – the national network of free internet-connected computers in public libraries – will be officially launched at the CILIP conference in Manchester.
Detailing the experiences of library staff and users in ten Local Authorities, Short Stories from the People’s Network demonstrates how computers in libraries continue to offer their communities a lifeline for many critical tasks that can now only be achieved with internet access.
The book is published by Lorensbergs, provider of netloan library PC software, and endorsed by CILIP, the UK’s library and information association. It was conceived and published as a response to the persistent need to support internet access for those lacking digital literacy skills, home computers or broadband. Despite some assumptions that it’s now easy for everyone to get online, the evidence from these accounts points to a service that remains absolutely essential to its millions of users.
Anna Crilly, Managing Director, Lorensbergs comments: “This book serves as a timely reminder of the indispensable combination of computers and skilled staff in libraries. Together they amount to a resource that ensures a large section of society doesn’t get left behind in this increasingly digital age.”
Nick Poole, CILIP CEO, who provides a foreword to the book, says: “As it approaches its 20th anniversary, it can be easy to forget just how essential the People’s Network really is. At CILIP, we’re committed to achieving a thriving library and information sector at the heart of Britain’s social, cultural and economic life. The People’s Network is at the very core of that vision, providing millions of hours of supported internet access every year. I hope that this fantastic book drives more recognition and support of this much-needed part of our national digital infrastructure.”
The book has been warmly welcomed by library heads and campaigners for raising the profile of an essential national resource. As well as evidencing the work undertaken by libraries in advancing digital skills nationally, it provides examples of how computers and other technologies in libraries inspire their customers with code clubs, 3D and wireless printing, and a trove of online reference materials. The e-book version is now available at www.lorensbergs.co.uk/short-stories-from-the-peoples-network.
The CILIP Conference takes place on the 5 and 6 July in Manchester. It brings information, library and knowledge professionals together to discuss, understand and share insight into the key issues for the sector. Keynote speakers include Dr Carla Hayden, the 14th Librarian of Congress, and the first African American and first female to be appointed to the prestigious role; Luciano Floridi, Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information at the Oxford Internet Institute; and Neil MacInnes, Strategic Lead for Libraries, Galleries and Culture at Manchester City Council.
Mark Taylor, Director of External Relations, CILIP
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Philippa Bryant, Head of Marketing, Lorensbergs
Notes to editors
About Lorensbergs (www.lorensbergs.co.uk)
Lorensbergs offers a range of market-leading software solutions with expert advice to match. Our range of intelligent and customisable PC booking and online booking solutions, netloan and connect2, have been designed to streamline booking processes and improve efficiencies in libraries and local authorities, universities and colleges. Lorensbergs offers consultancy services and training, working closely with customers to enhance service provision for library, university and public service users and patrons.
About CILIP (www.cilip.org.uk)
CILIP, the library and information association is the leading voice for the information, knowledge management and library profession. CILIP’s goal is to put information and library skills and professional values at the heart of a democratic, equal and prosperous society. CILIP is a registered charity, no. 313014.