Headlines: August 30th, 2001

The New Opportunities Fund, which distributes National Lottery money to health, education and environmental projects, is providing some 480 million pounds to support lifelong learning. Schemes for training teachers and school librarians in information and communications technology are receiving 230 million pounds. The digitization programme, which is developing a range of electronic learning materials reflecting the cultural heritage and community wealth and diversity, is being funded with a 50 million pound grant. A further 200 million pounds has been allocated to Community Access to Lifelong Learning.Community Access includes the People’s Network programme, which over time will receive 100 million pounds and will link all public libraries in the UK to the Internet and the National Grid for Learning. The aim is to make technology available to local communities and transform local libraries into high-tech learning centers. The People’s Network is a comprehensive programme of public ICT provision co-ordinated by the Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries. Half of the 200 library authorities have already received funding approval.