Li­braries will be well con­nected

County coun­cil secures fund­ing for Wi-Fi project

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

Bucks County Coun­cil is one of 68 lo­cal author­i­ties across England to re­ceive £49,428 of fund­ing from the Arts Coun­cil to im­prove Wi-Fi at in li­braries across the UK.

The Arts Coun­cil is in­vest­ing £2.6m in the project, which en­able more than 1,000 li­braries to either pro­vide Wi-Fi for the first time, or to up­grade their cur­rent pro­vi­sion to make it faster and more ac­ces­si­ble.

The project was set up fol­low­ing an in­de­pen­dent re­port on li­braries and their use and is be­ing de­liv­ered on be­half of the Depart­ment of Cul­ture, Me­dia and Sport.

It is hoped that the fund­ing will help li­braries to ex­tend their ser­vices, lead­ing to growth in peo­ple’s dig­i­tal skills and en­abling the de­vel­op­ment of new partnerships that will ben­e­fit lo­cal res­i­dents and cit­i­zens.

Cul­ture min­is­ter Ed Vaizey said: “I am de­lighted that this fund will en­able over 1,000 li­braries to either pro­vide Wi-Fi for the first time or to up­grade their cur­rent ser­vice.

“It is a vi­tal step to en­sur­ing that all pub­lic li­braries can pro­vide Wi-Fi ac­cess to their com­mu­ni­ties.

“As more

ser­vices be­come avail­able on­line, this will in­creas­ingly make li­braries the place to go for peo­ple who don’t have the ac­cess or the con­fi­dence to use dig­i­tal ser­vices.

“Li­braries are al­ready sup­port­ing a wide range of on­line ser­vices, from ap­ply­ing for jobs to lo­cal in­for­ma­tion.

“This is a sig­nif­i­cant mile­stone in the on-go­ing work of the Lead­er­ship for Li­braries Task­force to help li­braries grow and mod­ernise.”

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