Library computers to play important role in economic recovery
The latest netloan public library survey results predict library PCs will play a significant role in the UK’s economic recovery. 80% of library services rate the People’s Network of computers as essential for supporting jobseeking. From the 80 library authorities that participated, over 90% had provided PCs in the second half of 2020. It offers a lifeline to jobseekers, benefit claimants, and many others without other means to get online as the pandemic continues.
In addition to enabling users to find new jobs, libraries were judged important for aiding economic recovery through their work improving users’ digital skills and providing local businesses and startups with vital information and resources.
The survey results show how libraries have adapted to continue providing services safely protecting both staff and users. Library managers have reprioritised projects and found new ways to deliver help to those needing digital support. 80% have provided help of some kind, either in the library with computers and printing, or to customers in their homes, via phone, outreach and online means.
In recent months finding jobs, obtaining benefits and government services are users’ most frequently desired outcomes from library PC use. CVs are the most commonly printed items. Keeping in touch with family and friends has been another common purpose of computer use in libraries supporting social inclusion and mental health.
Anna Crilly, Managing Director of Lorensbergs that produced the research, commented: “Providing services safely has been of paramount importance to library management. Fortunately most found a way in recent months to continue providing public PCs and printing, supporting jobseekers, benefit applicants and others to achieve essential tasks. We are pleased our 2020 survey results have highlighted libraries’ successes and thank our customers for their wide participation in this research.”
To see the full results of the public library Netloan Customer Survey 2020, visit here.
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.