Digital inclusion organisation Tinder Foundation has awarded funding to 16 libraries to run pilots to help people advance their digital skills.
Help people develop basic digital skills
The funding is part of an action research pilot, which will be running from the 1st October 2015 to 31st March 2016.
The selected libraries will be funded to engage with people who are socially excluded, and support them to develop basic digital skills.
According to the organisation, there are currently around 10 million people in the UK lacking in basic digital skills. Through its support of the UK online centres network, Tinder Foundation has supported 1.6 million people to improve their basic digital skills since April 2010.
Libraries that have received funding include:
- Somerset Libraries, who will “develop a pop-up digital skills centre to be taken out to semi-rural communities”.
- Barnet Libraries, who will be “working with parents in low-income families to help them use mobile devices to enhance their job seeking skills, before training them to become IT buddies”.
- Leeds Libraries, who will be “engaging housebound and disabled people, as well as running a tablet lending scheme for learners”.
The libraries will be asked to share their best practice and successes, and the Tinder Foundation will gather research and case studies to support the sector.
The project will also pinpoint the support and resources they need to provide digital inclusion activity, working in partnership with the Leadership for Libraries Taskforce and SCL.
‘Closing the digital divide’
Helen Milner, Chief Executive of Tinder Foundation, said of the investment:
“We’re delighted to have been able to award funding to 16 library services, who all demonstrated innovate ideas for engaging with their local communities, reaching new people, and having a real impact on closing the digital divide.
“Through the UK online centres network, libraries have already supported hundreds of thousands of people to improve their digital skills, and this project will extend this further, ensuring successful activity can be scaled up for even greater impact.”
Ciara Eastell, Society of Chief Librarians President, spoke about the important role of libraries, and how important it is that they are up-to-date digitally.
“SCL welcomes the investment by Tinder Foundation in these innovative digital inclusion projects.
“Libraries are places of discovery and learning and it is fitting that they also offer the latest technologies and resources to the public, for free. We look forward to seeing the impact that these projects have on local communities.”
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