Many of those working in libraries will have been doing things that fall within ‘digital inclusion’ for some years, decades even. However, mainstream awareness of the importance of digital inclusion to society is now catching up with libraries, and there’s lots of new initiatives (e.g. the UK Government’s digital inclusion charter, Go On, Digital Inclusion in Wales, Communities 2.0 in Wales) and talk about what it is (my view: ensuring people have access to digitial equipment and that they have the skills to use it) in non-library circles (e.g. Age UK and the National Housing Federation).
A new briefing from CILIP on digital inclusion brings together some key headline figures about digital exclusion such as the fact that 11 million people in the UK are offline and are considered to have no digital skills, and of whom, 60% have no qualifications. Alongside the facts the briefing outlines how libraries and library staff contribute towards improving digital inclusion. If you’re looking for a handy summary on digital inclusion, digital literacy and library skills this briefing fits the bill.
If you want a more detailed report, the Society of Chief Librarians Wales produced ‘Addressing the Digital Divide’ which gives detailed examples of how public libraries are helping tackle digital exclusion, with lots of quotes by users and case studies.