Isle of Wight Council has announced it will provide acess to more robust ‘data lines’ to the proposed five community-run libraries from 16 September.
Data lines give libraries access to facilities such as book databases, broadband, virus protection, firewalls and web filtering.
The local authority will also fund the equipment for at least a year. No Internet is temporarily available in the five community libraries while the upgraded data lines are installed, although Internet is available in the six council-run libraries.
All libraries on the Isle of Wight use data lines to record, amongst other things, the hiring and returning or books and provide Internet services to both staff and customers. Community library volunteers are currently being trained on how to use the software.
Meanwhile, the library service will run a fines amnesty until 3 October on late books or DVDs. This is because although some customers may have returned books on time, the online system used to record their return is not available in some libraries.
It is also an opportunity for people who may have overdue items to return them to the library and avoid any charges.
Currently, groups looking to provide library provision in Bembridge, Brighstone, East Cowes, Niton and Shanklin have been given until the end of September to finalise arrangements, although some libraries could be up and running before then.
The council continues to run libraries in Cowes, Freshwater, Newport, Ryde, Sandown and Ventnor with an enhanced mobile service providing further support.