Ability to access the internet for customers in Herefordshire has just got easier with free wifi in the county’s libraries.
Whilst libraries managed or supported by Herefordshire Council provide computers that can be used for free the additional wifi will enable visitors to connect to the internet using their own device. The investment has been made to encourage more people to take advantage of what the internet can offer as increasing numbers of services are offered on-line.
Jon Backhouse, manager at Hereford Library, said “we have a great deal of demand for use of the public PCs, and people will use the computers for lots of different reasons from finding a job, paying bills, renewing a passport, making contact with friends and family”. He continued “use of the wifi and public PCs are free to use as we don’t want people to be excluded from using the internet”.
In previous research conducted by Herefordshire Council and supported by national findings, cost of equipment and cost of being connected can be a barrier to people using the internet.
Elinor Kelly, Chair of the Ross Library Development Group, commented “Libraries are important to people and at the heart of our communities, so it is very encouraging to see the council ensuring that Libraries are brought up to date with the WiFi provision that students, readers and visitors require if they are to make full use of tablets, smartphones and laptops in their studies and online searches. Libraries are loved because they keep abreast of the needs of their customers – WiFi provision is a crucial step forward in responding to public demand."
Free wifi is available at Hereford, Ross, Leominster and Ledbury libraries. The community library Leintwardine has also installed wifi free to its users.