We contacted Norfolk Library Service to see what support people could get from local libraries with what is known as ‘digital inclusion’ – for people who have no IT skills, or have no other access to the internet, or need some support to do an online benefit claim. This is what they said:
We have a number of different ways of helping people to develop digital skills and confidence, which will be suitable for different people.
One-to-one IT support from volunteers
Many libraries across the county host IT support volunteers who can meet with people to help them either answer a question as a one-off, or meet on a regular basis to build confidence over a longer time-frame. The best way for anyone to arrange to meet a volunteer is to call their local library and enquire – as each library is different (some volunteers prefer people to book, others accept drop-ins, and volunteers are available on a range of days/times). People can find their closest library here: https://www.norfolk.gov.uk/libraries-local-history-and-archives/libraries/your-local-library/locations-and-opening-times
Online courses to build IT skills
For someone who prefers to study from home, we have partnered with Cisco to offer online IT courses. These are free courses which people can join at any time and study at their own pace. There is one ‘beginners’ module, the rest are designed as foundation courses for people who wish to move into IT as a career. www.norfolk.gov.uk/ITcourses
One-to-one tuition from library staff
We also offer 1:1 professional tuition from friendly, experienced library staff at a cost of £17.50 per hour. These sessions can be tailored to respond to individual need, and focus on leisure use of tablets. Sessions are available on a range of subjects, find a full list: https://www.norfolk.gov.uk/iconnect
All libraries in Norfolk have computers and wifi which are both free to use. People must be library members to use the computers, but it is free and easy to join on the day. All libraries have one computer which is situated at a height-adjustable desk. All libraries also list their accessibility (level, ramped or stepped access and accessible toilets) for people with limited mobility on this website: https://www.norfolk.gov.uk/libraries-local-history-and-archives/libraries/your-local-library/locations-and-opening-times.