KCC’s Libraries, Registration and Archives service has successfully secured full funding from Arts Council England to complete the roll-out of free WiFi across all library buildings in the county.
Of the 99 libraries in Kent, 33 already provide free WiFi.
The grant, provided as part of the “WiFi in Public Libraries in England” initiative administered by Arts Council England on behalf of the Department for Culture, Media & Sport, means that the remaining 66 will all be WiFi-enabled from April 2016.
“This funding is wonderful news for Kent residents,” said Mike Hill, Cabinet Member for Community Services at Kent County Council.
“It means anyone in Kent can visit their local library and use our WiFi for free on their own laptop, smartphone or tablet pc.
“This is another great example of how libraries are not just about books – they are safe places where people can connect with others, study, research, and become part of their community.
“It is good news especially for people living in rural areas and smaller villages where WiFi is less available than in larger towns.”
As well as the roll-out of free WiFi, Kent Libraries also provide free access to computers for people who might not have their own equipment, and “IT Buddy” sessions to help people get online.
The new provision will also mean more people can access a vast range of online library service.
This includes free online subscriptions (newspapers, journals, encyclopaedias, business resources etc) and the online library catalogue which contains almost half a million books, DVDs and CDs, available via a free click-and-collect reservation service.