Nearly 100 events at libraries for digital help
03 October 2019
From taking their first steps online, shopping online safely, and researching family history, there’s help for anyone unsure about using the computer at the county’s libraries over the next two weeks.
From 7 – 12 October Norfolk Library Service will be celebrating Libraries Week by talking about all the different services and activities it offers people to help them access things for free online.
For Get Online week (14 – 20 October) there will be a plethora of events including first steps for beginners, internet support sessions, and how to keep in touch with friends and family.
Councillor Margaret Dewsbury, Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “We have a brilliant programme of activities during Libraries Week that we hope will bring communities across the county together.
“All our libraries offer support to help people get to grips with technology, learn how to use the internet and other digital channels to do things that benefit them in their daily lives.This includes free access to computers and free Wi-Fi. Everyone is welcome and the library is free to join.”
A total of 93 events will be taking place across the county’s libraries during the two weeks.
This includes Just a Cuppa coffee and chat groups at 43 of the county’s libraries, aimed at bringing people together and ensuring communities stay connected, as well as combatting loneliness.
Many people aren’t aware their local library provides free access to eBooks and audio books. Recently a new subscription was made available for digital newspapers and magazines from the UK and across the world.
The PressReader app and website provides digital copies of major newspapers and magazines from around the world that can be accessed in their original language, and translated into different languages, so people whose first language is not English can read content in their native tongue. It also has the facility to enlarge and read text aloud, making it accessible to people with visual impairments.
A new user to PressReader said: “It’s great to be able to just read the bits of a newspaper that you want for free rather than buying the paper and throwing 90% of it straight in to the recycling – this means that I read more of the book reviews over the weekend rather than having to guess which paper will have the best selection.
“A mailing group that I am which links students from around the world suggested two articles of note this week from non-UK papers – these links were behind paywalls but thanks to Press Reader I could access both the American and New Zealand newspapers and read the relevant stories. Already the app has saved me £50 easily.”
With e-book borrowing from Norfolk’s libraries increasing year on year, this new service will give people an even wider variety of electronic reading choices. 160,000 e-books were borrowed in 2018 compared with 110,000 in 2015, an increase of more than 45%.