New data shows the value and impact of the Swansea Library Service to residents who may otherwise be digitally excluded.
In a survey carried out in libraries across the city, 38% of people said they use computers at libraries because they don’t have one of their own.
Other results show 45% of library computer users visit for printing facilities, 17% visit to scan documents and photos, and 16% visit because they haven’t got broadband access at home.
When asked what they do online, 46% said they use library computers for email, with 24% using them for social media and 22% using library computers for general browsing.
Other statistics show 17% of library computer users log on to search for jobs, 14% go online to update their CVs, and 13% use the computers for education and research purposes.
Close to 300 computer users at Swansea’s libraries took part in the survey.
Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Enterprise, Development and Regeneration, said: “Our libraries aren’t just fantastic facilities for books, CDs and DVDs – they’re also great places to visit to access clubs, fun activities and computers with internet access.
“Broadband, WiFi connections, computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones are very much part of most of our daily lives nowadays, but there are still many people in Swansea who either don’t have access to the internet or don’t know how to use the technology that’s now available.
“As a council, we’re determined to tackle poverty and digital exclusion across the city. The library service, as well as our hugely successful Get Swansea Online courses, has a key role to play in making sure people who are digitally excluded have both the equipment and the knowledge to benefit from resources many of us may sometimes take for granted.”
Since the start of May this year, 157 people have benefitted from free Get Swansea Online courses aimed at introducing the digitally excluded to computers, tablets, smartphones, email and the internet.
After completing the course, 95% of people said they’d use the internet to stay in touch with family and friends, 80% said they’d log on to access council services, and 75% said they’d go online to search for work opportunities.
Have a look at www.swansea.gov.uk/getswanseaonline for more information about the Get Swansea Online courses, venues and times.
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