If you didn’t already know, next week is Libraries Week! This year’s campaign is focused on celebrating the role of libraries in the digital world. Whether they are helping individuals, local businesses or community groups, libraries are at the forefront of developing information skills, encouraging digital inclusion and supporting health, wellbeing and education.
Between the 7th-12th October, Libraries across the country will be showcasing the ways in which they support people of all ages to get connected, get creative and learn new skills. But why are digital literacy skills so important?
- Research shows that people with good IT skills earn 3-10% more than those without. Libraries are at the forefront of developing digital literacy skills by providing access to digital resources, training and support.
- Increasing digital literacy helps people to make better lifestyle choices that can prevent health problems. Many public libraries work with health professionals and health librarians to improve public access to reliable, accessible health information.
- Digitally competent and confident citizens are far more likely to lead healthier, happier, more productive and satisfying lives.
Public Libraries help to reduce inequality by providing safe, civic spaces open to all: part of this offer is access to computers and the internet. Communities that have access to timely and relevant information and to the internet are better positioned to eradicate poverty and inequality and support people’s health, culture, research, and innovation.
The critical importance of libraries in supporting digital inclusion and skills development continues to grow, with nearly half of public libraries reporting an increasing number of customers request this kind of help.
St George’s Library is no different – we play a vital role in identifying and supporting the information needs of our complex and diverse user base. From students to academics and researchers to NHS professionals we offer a variety of training, support and resources centred around digital inclusion and information skills.
So, to celebrate Libraries Week and mark our contribution to our community, over the course of the week we’ll be publishing a series of blog posts featuring different teams across the Library and Archives services.
Each post will introduce a different team and explore what they do to support our users and how they use technology to do so.
If you’ve ever wanted to know what goes on behind the scenes, or see how we support the University and Trust beyond the Library Helpdesk, our featured posts this week will give you a closer look at what Library staff do.
You should also join us over on Twitter next week, where we’ll be sharing local Libraries Week events and our favourite celebrations from Libraries across the UK. Follow us @sgullibrary or keep up with the conversation here: #LibrariesWeek
Inspired to explore other libraries? If you live in London, you’re spoilt for choice!
If you are local to Tooting, why not join your local library? See the Wandsworth Libraries website for a list of their locations.