Borders libraries get digital upgrade

The refurbishment has modernising the look and feel of Galashiels library, above, and others across the region .

The refurbishment has modernising the look and feel of Galashiels library, above, and others across the region .

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A major £195,000 upgrade of public computers in libraries and library contact centres across the Scottish Borders has been completed.

The new equipment includes all-in-one PCs with 23 inch touch screens operated by Windows 8.1 and Microsoft Office 2013 software.

Scottish Borders Council says it will enable library users to benefit from a much faster and more enjoyable online experience, as well as having access to improved printing, scanning and photocopying services.

Screen readers and magnification software that support reading, writing and vision have also been installed providing greater accessibility and ease of use for people with a sensory impairment.

The upgrade is the result of a £195k investment from SBC’s Capital programme to encourage and support Borders residents to connect with the council online as much as possible. This is in line with the Scottish government’s digital agenda. Councillor Vicky Davidson, SBC’s executive member for culture, explained: “Having access to a computer is fast becoming an essential part of everyday modern life.

“The free equipment provided in local libraries is an increasingly vital resource for people who don’t have a computer of their own. This replacement of our outdated library computers was a much-needed and welcome investment to make sure library users were given access to the faster, more efficient equipment that is available.

“Now that the work has been completed I am delighted to see the difference that the upgrade has made, both in terms of modernising the look and feel of our library computers but also to the experience that everyone using them will have as they make use of the new facilities..

“We also hope the provision of faster, more advanced machines will encourage more people to use their local library and take advantage of the wide range of the services on offer.”

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