Headlines: February 14th, 2003

The Department for Culture Media and Sport has set out a vision for the 4000 UK libraries which puts them at the heart of online developments. The strategy document ‘Framework for the Future’ describes how ‘Resource’ the Council for Museums Achieves and Libraries, will co-ordinate national programmes to create online content and raise the profile of the public library service.The People’s Network of 30,000 terminals, which was funded with Lottery money by the New Opportunities Fund, is now in place and it offers 60 million hours of free Internet access a year. Plans for using the Network include public libraries creating, hosting and managing websites for local community groups. Library staff will increasingly offer digital skills training. To date they have provided 27,000 Get Started sessions and 32,000 Internet Taster sessions . For the future they will provide skills training for accessing e-government services and develop facilities to tackle social exclusion.

‘Framework for the Future’ will help local and library authorities agree on the modern mission with central government and their local communities. A key aim of the document is to give the public library service network a shared sense of purpose.

Link: http://www.dcms.gov.uk/heritage/index.html