For the last two decades, local libraries have offered the opportunity to get online for free using a public access computer. Collectively, this service is known as the People’s Network. It’s a critical service that millions of people rely on every year. This book provides vital insights into the difference the People’s Network makes to these people’s lives.
The book presents these insights in the form of twelve stories – individual accounts from public library staff who know the joys and challenges of providing computers for public use. Each chapter has been provided by a different UK library authority, telling the story of the ongoing importance of this service, and reflecting the needs of our communities in today’s digital age.
The People’s Network plays a fundamental role in how libraries keep society inclusive as opportunities and information move increasingly online. These stories are essential reading for anyone with an interest in libraries and the part they play in supporting individual wellbeing, societal development and economic prosperity.
“These stories offer a compelling message on the continuing importance of the People’s Network.
It’s a book that deserves to be read by all those with a stake in the welfare and development of our society.”
Ayub Khan MBE, President, CILIP
"Internet access is now an integral part of a modern library service. Public libraries offer both the facilities and the practical support to help people get online and develop their digital skills. This is hugely important to society, now and in the future.
"I welcome this publication, which helps the sector share experiences, learning and best practice to improve services for library users across the country."
Michael Ellis, Libraries Minister