"Libraries have been playing a key role in reducing isolation and improving job prospects among those with no internet access, writes David Batty."
"At a time when many local authorities have cut back on their library services, Brighton & Hove city council has made them central to improving its performance and the experience of service users.
The Council Connect project provides local residents who lack internet access or online skills with information technology training and support. This is aimed at enabling them to use other local authority services online more easily and develop skills useful for employment and in their personal lives.
The project began last year to bridge the divide between web-savvy local residents who save time and money by going online to pay council bills, resolve enquiries or arrange services, rather than visiting council offices, and those with no internet access or skills.
The council noted that the latter often live in more deprived communities or belong to more marginalised social groups, such as older people, those with mental health problems, unemployed people and some ethnic minorities."