Libraries Connected, the independent charity represent public libraries, has welcomed the Lords Communications and Digital Committee’s report into digital exclusion.
The report highlights the important role of public libraries in tackling digital exclusion, particularly through supporting access to “digital by default” public services. It calls on the government to urgently publish a new digital exclusion strategy and recommends greater support for libraries to take a bigger role in supporting inclusion.
Isobel Hunter MBE, chief executive of Libraries Connected, said:
"We welcome this thorough report and thank the committee for highlighting the important role of libraries in tackling digital exclusion. Libraries work incredibly hard to ensure no one is left behind by the move to digital by default public services – a process hastened by the pandemic – but they often do so without sufficient resources or training."
"Whether it’s applying for a Blue Badge, managing benefits or making a GP appointment, public libraries are helping people with no or low digital skills access essential services every single day. We need significant investment in staff and equipment to ensure they can meet this demand."
"We agree with the committee – and with a growing number of organisations in the tech, local government and charitable sectors - that a new or refreshed digital inclusion strategy is badly needed."
Libraries Connected recently published a report on digital inclusion and libraries in partnership with Good Things Foundation.