Locked-down libraries may cause ‘connectivity crisis’ for elderly people

Written by Gemma Fraser on 4 January 2021 in News
News

Data shows majority of facilities yet to reopen

Credit: Strevo/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Elderly people could be facing a “connectivity crisis” with vast swathes of public libraries having remained shut for months, leaving some users bereft of internet access.

According to data provided by local councils to the Scottish Labour party, as of 16 December, six out of ten libraries across Scotland had not reopened following the first lockdown in March. Eight local authorities reported having no open libraries before the latest lockdown restrictions kicked in.

Scottish Labour has warned of the impact library closures have on the elderly, who often rely on the facilities to access the internet, and the party is calling on the Scottish Government to provide local councils with the support they need to ensure elderly people are not isolated with no online access.


Related content


Scottish Labour local government spokesperson Sarah Boyack said: “Libraries are at the heart of local communities and play a vital role in the lives of elderly people in particular. I have had elderly constituents contact me in distress over their inability to access library services, leading to worries over bill payments and social interaction.”

She added: “Regretfully public health measures have necessitated the closure of some libraries, but much more needs to be done to ensure elderly people are not isolated and unable to access the internet. Libraries also allow those without computers at home to access the internet, and with it vital services such as GP appointments and social security services. It’s time for the SNP government to face up to this connectivity crisis and support local authorities to ensure that our elderly people are able to get by during this pandemic.”

About the author

Gemma Fraser is a journalist at PublicTechnology sister publication Holyrood, where this story first appeared. She tweets as @GemmaFraser10.

Tags

Share this page

Tags

Categories

CONTRIBUTIONS FROM READERS

Please login to post a comment or register for a free account.

Related Articles

Will local government transformation be set back by coronavirus?
15 January 2021

Having long suffered from a scarcity of funding, councils could be forgiven for deprioritising investments in new tech. But public and private and sector leaders tell PublicTechnology...

The biggest stories of 2020 – part two
31 December 2020

PublicTechnology completes our round-up of the most read and significant stories of 2020

Related Sponsored Articles

Remote working opened the doors to cyberattack and data breach risks – we can close them
8 December 2020

In 2020 public sector organisations have been tested to a degree never experienced before. According to CrowdStrike, increasing cybersecurity attacks are an additional complication they must...