New e-book released showing the importance of public library computers

Posted 4 Jul 2017 by Ian Anstice

Short Stories from the People's Network

Computers in public libraries: Local examples tell a national story

A new book highlighting the importance of the Peoples 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 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. Despitesome 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.

Nick Poole, CILIP Chief Executive, who provides a foreword to the book, says:

“As it approaches its 20th anniversary, it can be easy to forget just how essential the Peoples 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 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.

North West Libraries

Librarians in the North West have pioneered partnership working to encourage new readers into libraries. Time To Read is a partnership of librarians engaged in reader development activity in public library authorities in the North West Region. 22 public library authorities in the region currently support Time To Read.

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