Staffordshire libraries to get new computers

All Staffordshire’s 43 libraries are to receive new computers to replace old, outdated ones.

The County Council programme has now started, with the roll out continuing in December.

The new computers will be introduced at libraries directly run by the authority, and the 27 community managed ones.

Janene Cox, Staffordshire County Council’s Commissioner for Culture, Rural and Safer Communities, said: “We want to provide the best we can for our library users and we knew that the current computers were getting a little old and slow – particularly when dealing with large files and video content – so we pushed through the upgrade as quickly as possible.

“We recognise how important it is to keep people connected and with more and more services relying on online access, we want to be responsive with up-to-date technology, especially for those who have restricted access at home.”

Many libraries have volunteer ‘IT Buddies’ who can be booked to show less experienced users how to access the internet, explore and send emails.

The new computers have an updated desktop and some small changes in use, which staff and volunteers will be happy to demonstrate, and the improved software will also benefit activities, including use of 3D printing and maker sessions with Code Clubs.

The computer upgrade follows an expansion earlier this year of the library service’s eBooks system to keep pace with public demand.

A new supplier and system improvement were introduced this summer, leading to an 80% increase in stock so electronic users have thousands of titles to choose from.

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