28 June 2016

Sheffield libraries have gone wireless with WiFi.

Available in all council-run branches, and most community-run ones, people are now able to log on for free from smartphones, tablets, laptops and more than 170 library computers.

This means easier studying, job searches, research, instant downloads from the E-library and more opportunities for people to go online.

Last year Ofcom, the UK’s communication regulator, announced that 20 per cent of adults are without fixed or mobile broadband in the UK.

Councillor Jack Scott, cabinet member for community services and libraries at Sheffield City Council, said: “Wi-Fi has become an essential part of everyday life for many people and I’m delighted that we’re able to offer this service for free to people in Sheffield. I want Sheffield to be the most digitally switched-on city in Britain and this new service is a really important part of that vision. Our libraries are brilliant community facilities and I hope this encourages even more people to use them.

“As well as the free WiFi service, you can also learn how to get online and use a computer in branches. There’s something for everyone, so if you don’t use your local library yet, then pop down and see what’s on offer.”

Computer classes run in libraries across Sheffield to help people get online. Many run with the help of partners including Heeley Development Trust, South Yorkshire Police and the Halifax Bank.

The WiFi was provided through a grant from Arts Council England to provide and enhance free WiFi for library users. Darren Henley, Chief Executive of Arts Council England, said: “This important fund is enabling libraries across England to offer more vital services to their users and encourage more people to use and enjoy their local libraries.”

Visit www.sheffield.gov.uk/libraryevents for information about computer classes in the libraries or contact your local branch. Details of all libraries in Sheffield are available at www.sheffield.gov.uk/libraries

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