UK: “Libraries Taskforce Secures Further Funding To Roll Out Free Wifi in Public Libraries Across England”
Arts Council England announces £7.1million [$11.08 million/USD]to ensure all public libraries in England will offer free wifi access by March 2016.
Libraries currently without free wifi access will be given priority and libraries that currently have wifi provision below the recommended technical specification will also have the opportunity to upgrade.
The announcement also highlights a new partnership between the Leadership for Libraries Taskforce and the Tinder Foundation which has launched a £100,000 Library Digital Inclusion Fund. The fund enables libraries to bid for resources to help people learn basic digital skills and help them get online. The initial pilot will run from 1 October 2015 to 31 March 2016 and will look to fund up to 15 library services across England.
The taskforce aims to provide leadership for libraries, implement the recommendations of the report and help reinvigorate the public service in England. They have set out aims of sharing best practise between councils, promoting the role of digital and shaping a workforce for the future.
Further achievements for the Taskforce include the launch of the BT and Barclays ‘Wifi in the community’ scheme. The two-year pilot will provide wifi installation and training in 100 libraries and community centres. This includes guidance and digital training from BT Digital Friends and Barclays Digital Eagles volunteers.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.