Getting the most out of your library

Libraries now offer much more than just physical forms of resources such as books. Most public libraries now give you free access to audiobooks, e-magazines and computers with internet use.

Kent libraries among others offer a range of free digital support to library members including access to a computer and Wi-Fi use, IT buddies and more. Becoming a member is easy and it doesn’t cost anything to join. If you don’t live in Kent,  contact your local library to see what support they have to offer.

Free Computer and Wi-Fi use

All Kent libraries have computers with internet access available to use.

  • Computers can be booked online in advance or on arrival at the library
  • Computers can be booked for up to an hour (two hours for people who have a disability or mental health needs).
  • All of their computers have accessibility software for people with disabilities.
  • Every library also has access to a range of specialist equipment and at least one computer is suitable for wheelchair users.

Get help using computers

Not everyone is confident using a computer. Kent libraries now offer a service to assist people. Most of their libraries have volunteer ‘IT buddies’ who are available to help people:

  • Get online
  • With basic problems
  • Access information
  • Complete forms online. (Volunteers cannot provide advice or complete forms and payments on the users’ behalf.)

They also provide access to Learn My Way – a free computer course which covers how to use a computer, browse the web, send an email, find work online. It also provides a how to guide to Universal Credit.

Helping isolated people get online

The ‘Touch a New World’ scheme is for people who would like to get online, but are not able to get along to their local library to see an IT buddy. It enables people to borrow an iPad with sim card for approximately eight weeks, and have approximately eight weekly sessions with a volunteer covering topics such as how to search the internet, send and receive emails and photos, use online library services and download e-Books.