A library project to help people overcome social isolation and improve their IT skills, has received the backing of St Edmundsbury Borough Council.
Haverhill Library will launch a series of courses next week, designed to help members of the community use tablets and e-Readers.
St Edmundsbury Borough Cllrs Anne Gower and Karen Richardson have both donated money from their locality budgets which have paid for two Google Nexuses to support the project.
Cllr Gower, who represents Haverhill North ward said: “It may be that someone was given one of these devices by their children for their birthday or Christmas but haven’t been able to use it.
“There are some people who feel socially isolated and on top of that they don’t have access to Wi-Fi or know how to Skype or create an email account. These are all ways that they can keep in contact with their friends and family or to find help or just get information. Other people may be looking to brush up their internet/social media skills - either way the library is a valuable resource supporting these skills and enabling access to the internet.”
Cllr Richardson, who represents Haverhill East, is also chairman of the Friends of Haverhill Library. “There is far more to the library that just books. Cllr Gower and I regularly hold our surgeries here where residents can discuss the issues affecting their lives.
“The Friends group has been running for about a year and has raised money for various new bits of kit, not least the installation of free Wi-Fi.
“I am pleased that both Cllr Gower and myself have been able to help towards funding this technology project out of our new locality budgets.
“I am sure that it will prove invaluable to those members of the community who are perhaps, for one reason or another, the most socially isolated.”
Each course takes place on a Wednesday from 2pm to 4pm and costs £10 each which covers the costs of the tutor.
Introduction to iPads and iPhones takes place on 10 September, Introduction to Android tablets and e-Readers on September 17, and Moving on with tablets and e-Readers on 24 September. To register visit the library or call 01440 702638.
Sanphra Willmott, manager at the library, said it is also hoped that the tablets may be loanable to library card holders in the future.