Just a click from the world wide web
Gloucestershire County Council's library service is ready to celebrate Get Online Week this month, as libraries across the county try to help more residents use the internet.
Get Online Week, which aims to show thousands of people how the internet can make lives easier, takes place from 17th - 23rdOctober.
Gloucester Library will host special drop in events on the 17th and 18th October, with partners coming along to offer courses and help for people wanting to learn how to get online. Other libraries will have displays about getting online during the week.
With better broadband speeds increasing around the county thanks to the Fastershire project, taking part in Get Online Week could help several people learn how to use new faster internet at home.
As part of the first phase of the Fastershire project, Gloucestershire County Council, by laying new fibre cables is helping 80,000 premises access faster broadband. The second phase of the project is currently ongoing, offering even more people better access to get online.
Each library in Gloucestershire provides free access to computers that can be booked for up to two hours per day. Additionally, each library has free Wi-Fi to allow people to use their own gadgets and smartphones when they visit their local library.
Trained library staff can help access free online resources such as Ancestry, Driving Theory test or Access to Research. Gloucestershire libraries also have thousands of eBooks and eMagazines for customers to download.
We also have computer buddies in 25 libraries, volunteers who can be booked for one to one sessions to help with setting up emails, accessing the internet, or downloading eBooks.
Cllr Andrew Gravells, cabinet member for libraries at Gloucestershire County Council, said: "Libraries can help people take their very first steps to understanding how the internet works and towards getting online."
"Get Online Week is a great way to take that first step into understanding just how easy and helpful the internet can be to people who might previously have thought it was to difficult for them to use.
I would encourage anyone looking for help or advise to visit either their local library or come along to Gloucester Library for one of the special events. I am convinced that most people will be pleasantly surprised how straight forward and useful the internet is."
Cllr Mark Hawthorne, leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said: "As we continue the work to improve broadband access and speeds across the county, it is great that people have the opportunity to learn more about getting online.
"Gloucestershire County Council is working hard to ensure everyone has good quality internet access."
For more information, including opening times of local libraries, please visit www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/libraries.