Today, we’re pleased to announce that we’ve awarded funding to sixteen libraries, as part of our latest funding round. The sixteen libraries will run innovative pilots that will support people to improve their digital skills.
The funding is part of an action research pilot, running from 1 October 2015 to 31 March 2016, with selected libraries funded to engage with people who are socially excluded, supporting them to develop basic digital skills.
All 16 libraries will investigate models of support that work for their communities, through new partnerships, new technologies and innovative models of support, leading to the creation of new resources to support the sector as a whole.
Some examples of the innovative activity happening, 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.
- Doncaster Libraries, who will be taking a digitally enabled bus to local communities where there is no library presence.
We’ll be collecting best practice throughout the project, with the aim of identifying the support and resources needed by libraries. We’ll also be working alongside the Leadership for Libraries Taskforce and SCL.
Helen Milner, Chief Executive of Tinder Foundation says: “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 even further, ensuring successful activity can be scaled up for even greater impact.”
Paul Blantern (Chair) and Kathy Settle (Chief Executive) of the Leadership for Libraries Taskforce warmly welcomed this announcement as 'An exciting opportunity for various libraries to further develop digital access for their communities with the support and partnership of The Tinder Foundation. It is important to help all users to grow in confidence and awareness of the wide range of services that libraries provide.'
Ciara Eastell, Society of Chief Librarians President, said: “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.”
The full list of library services funded as part of the programme is:
- Barnet Libraries - Barnet Library
- Brighton & Hove City Council Libraries - Jubilee Library
- CCS Libraries - Ealing, Croydon, Harrow and Hounslow - Hounslow Library
- Coventry Libraries and Information Service - Coventry Central Library
- Cumbria Libraries - Workington Library
- Derbyshire County Council - Chesterfield Library
- Doncaster Libraries - Doncaster Central Library
- Gateshead - Gateshead Central Library
- Leeds Library and Information Service - Leeds Central Library
- Livewire (Warrington) CIC - Warrington Library
- Newcastle Libraries - Newcastle City Library
- Nottingham City Libraries - Nottingham City Library
- Northumberland Libraries - Northumberland Libraries
- Oswestry Library - Oswestry Library
- Portsmouth Library and Archive Service - Portsmouth Central Library
- Somerset Libraries - Somerset Library