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Library Facilities

Volume 448: debated on Wednesday 5 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what support her Department makes available for library facilities for older people. (82262)

Responsibility for the provision of day to day library services lies with the 149 library authorities in England. Emphasis may differ slightly from authority to authority but older people benefit from library services which are available to all library users. Services include silver surfer sessions, help with charges such as reservations and fines, services to the housebound and homes for the elderly and provision of materials in accessible formats.

People’s Network services funded through Framework for the Future strategy programme are of particular benefit including (i) ‘Enquire’ service, giving round the clock real-time access to advice from librarians and (ii) ‘Read’ service, an on-line tool for finding interesting books for individual readers. Both these services particularly benefit people who find difficulty in visiting their library.