High-tech libraries are community hubs

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A NEW campaign aims to highlight the wide variety of services and high-tech equipment available in public libraries.

The East Sussex County Council campaign, which includes poster advertising, leaflet drops and promotion through social media, is aimed at demonstrating the authority’s library service has ‘something for everyone’, whether they visit their local library or access services online.

To allow people to get ‘connected’, free computer and internet access is on offer at all libraries in the county, while visitors can also benefit from free Wi-Fi services and even free computer training.

A county council spokesman said: “Internet access is particularly important with so many services today switching to the web, and can help people save money by enabling them to shop online and assist them in finding information about things that are important to them or staying in touch with families and friends.

“If people want to borrow a book, they do not even have to go inside a library, but can go online for an e-book, or use the library service’s online reference library to answer questions such as: ‘What’s the answer to six down?’ or ‘What was the newspaper headline on March 5 1872?’ - again all at no cost.”

Simon Hughes, East Sussex County Council assistant chief executive, said: “We want as many people as possible to know what great things they can get from our first class library service.

“With so many people needing to get online to do things nowadays, sometimes we forget that not everyone has a computer at home, or knows how to use it.

“As well as the things people usually associate with libraries, such as books, it is important to remember they can also provide a gateway to support and information which helps many people in their everyday lives.

Libraries have other services too, such as DVD rentals with great premier titles and competitive hire charges, free children’s storytime, and specific events such as ‘Meet the Author’.