Library computers get £20,000 upgrade

Rutland County Council offices in Oakham
Rutland County Council offices in Oakham
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Rutland County Council will spend £20,000 upgrading IT facilities at libraries in Oakham, Uppingham, Ketton and Ryhall.

The council will replace 35 old computers with Intel Core i5 models. The new machines feature touch screen technology to make browsing the internet, searching for work and carrying out research much easier.

The money has come from Section 106 funding specifically for libraries, and the computers that are being replaced are more than five years old.

Work has also been done to upgrade library internet connections to high speed fibre.

Senior culture and leisure manager Robert Clayton said: “Although many people now have access to the internet at home, there is still a significant number who either cannot afford to go online or are not confident at using computers.

“Our local libraries offer people a wide range of free internet services, including access to family history research sites, major reference works such as the Encyclopaedia Britannica and the use of practical sites like Theory Test Pro, which allows users to practice their driving theory test.

“Nationally, around 20 per cent of the population have never used the internet and Rutland County Council wants to make it as easy as possible for people to venture online and make the most of this invaluable tool.”

The council is encouraging people to use the new computers to register to vote in this year’s elections. Each of the authority’s 26 seats could be contested on May 7, alongside those on town and parish councils.

Returning officer and chief executive Helen Briggs said: “There’s now less than a month to go until the 2015 elections and you have to be registered if you want to cast your vote.

“By far the quickest and easiest way to do this is online and local libraries offer free internet access and guidance for residents.

“The registration process takes just five minutes to complete. All you need are your personal details and National Insurance Number.”