New Zealand success with additional internet services

American Libraries reports that upping internet access has seen increases in overall library usage in New Zealand, with “library staff reporting increased usage of a range of other library services, and increased numbers from traditionally hard-to-reach groups.” The New Zealand National Library-led program, through the Aotearoa People’s Network Kaharoha (APNK), “provides free access to broadband internet services to more than 130 libraries and three marae, with more committed to join” and aims to lessen the digital divide for the New Zealand community at large.

This free internet access has had clear benefits, with APNK users reporting that they have used the resources to assist them in “finding jobs (44 per cent of users), financial use (41 per cent), increasing computer literacy (47 per cent), accessing local council services (39 per cent) and in education-related activities (30 per cent).” You can read the full report about the project here.

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