A Hartlepool library is among 100 nationwide to take part in a new initiative.
People can now get free wi-fi and hands-on digital advice and support at the town’s Throston Grange Library.
The library, in Glamorgan Grove, is one of 100 UK centres chosen to take part in a new BT and Barclays initiative to provide online access to a broad cross-section of the local community.
Throston Library is a valued learning and meeting space for local people and free wi-fi access, combined with expert support, will open the door to the opportunities which being online can offer.
BT has supported the setting up of free wi-fi connectivity at the library while Barclays Digital Eagles – specially trained members of Barclays’ staff – will provide free technology advice to help local people build confidence and develop the skills they need to succeed in the digital world.
Across the UK, 12 per cent of the adult population has never been online and this increases to 61 per cent for those over 75 years old.
David Worthington, Hartlepool Borough Council’s head of culture and information, said: “We are delighted that Throston Grange Library has been chosen to be part of this BT and Barclays initiative, which will help give local people the resources and support to get ahead in today’s digital world.”
Anna Easton, BT’s sustainable business director, added: “At BT we believe in the power of communications to make a better world. We want to ensure that everyone can not only access the digital world, but can also have the skills and support they need to stay online in the long term.”
BT and Barclays have backed the Government’s Digital Inclusion Strategy to reduce the number of people who are offline in the UK by 25 per cent by 2016.
The free Wi-Fi is available now at Throston Grange Library, and Barclays Digital Eagles will be on-hand for sessions throughout the year. For more details, contact the library on 01429 263199, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.hartlepool.gov.uk/libraries