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					NOTE TO: LEARNING COMMUNITIES SCRUTINY COMMISSION

FROM:      EXECUTIVE MEMBER, COMMUNITY SERVICES




               LEARNING COMMUNITIES SCRUTINY COMMISSION
                          – THURSDAY 3 APRIL 2003
               BRIEFING ITEMS – CULTURE/LIFELONG LEARNING


1.0   THE PEOPLES NETWORK

      The People’s Network is a project, which has connected all public
      libraries to the Internet, as part of the Government’s commitment
      to give everyone in the UK the opportunity to get online. Lottery-
      funded by the New Opportunities Fund and managed by
      Resource, more than 4,000 library centres have been created
      through the initiative.

      In Bury we have had a grant of £330,000 to extend our Internet
      access to all public libraries, and with this we have:-

       Upgraded the Internet access pc’s to 108 modern Windows &
         Office XP’s across 11 branch and Community libraries;
       Upgraded internet connections to broadband so that each
         access point has a connection speed of 2mbs minimum;
       Provided disabled access pc’s at each library’
       Provided pc access for Urdu speakers;
       Provided scanners at each library;
       Provided network access to CD Roms at each library;
       Made all this access free for users.
1.0    (cont.)

      As part of the Peoples Network programme all library staff have
      been trained to European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) level,
      and had specific training to support users of ICT equipment in our
      libraries.

      From 1 April 2003 public access to ICT services including the
      Internet is free of charge at all Bury libraries.


2.0   AINSWORTH LIBRARY

      On Monday April 7 2003 Ainsworth Library, the smallest
      permanent library in the country, will re-open after a month long
      refurbishment. For many years the library has changed little and it
      undoubtedly looked shabby.         But now after a consultation with
      local people and taking into account the Village Design Statement
      the building is being completely revamped.

      The building will have new windows and doors, the interior will be
      stripped and redecorated and modern beech shelving installed. All
      the existing library stock will be replaced and two public access
      computers with broadband Internet connections will be installed. A
      third PC for staff use will also be available.

      Material to support children and young adults with schoolwork will
      be introduced and a homework club is planned. For older people
      regular afternoon tea and talk sessions will be introduced.
 2.0    (cont.)

       Ainsworth Library has tended to be overlooked by local people in
       recent years but now it has the chance to become a focus for
       village activity for years to come.


3.0    LEARN DIRECT             ACCESS       POINT      AT   BURY   CENTRAL
       LIBRARY

       Bury Central Library is to become a Learn Direct Access Point.
       The Access Point will be situated in the Reference and Information
       Section of the Library.

       As an Access Point the library will provide:-

       a dedicated Learn Direct PC, connected to the Internet and printer;
       a dedicated professional member of staff for 20 hours per week;
       a phone available to learners for free calls to the Learn Direct
       helpline.

       Learn Direct offer 650 modular on-line courses, some take as little
       as 15 minutes, others a few hours to complete;
       Learn Direct offers an alternative method of learning, where you
       can learn at your own pace, tailor your learning to suit individual
       needs       and   also   an   alternative   to    conventional   learning
       environments;
       Courses cover a wide range of popular topics, such as Computer
       skills, Information Technology, Words and Numbers and Business
       Management.
3.0   (cont.)

      Our dedicated member of staff will be available to:-
       Offer assistance in choosing courses;
       Enrol Learners on a course of study;
       Refer learners to appropriate agencies for more detailed
        guidance, for example a Learn Direct Learning Centre (Tutor
        assistance), IAG (careers guidance) etc.


4.0   YOUTH SERVICE PLAN
      The Youth Service Plan has now been approved by the Executive
      Committee and by Government Office North West. An action plan
      is being drawn up to prioritise the new Council funding being made
      available for Youth Services in 2003/4.


5.0   CONNEXIONS
      A review is taking place of the role of local Connexions managers
      across Greater Manchester. The review is to be concluded by
      May 2003.


6.0   MAPPING THE VOLUNTARY YOUTH SECTOR
      Substantial work has been carried out aimed at mapping the
      voluntary youth sector in Bury.      90 organisations have been
      identified and contacted and a conference held on the 19 March
      attracted 50 representatives. Discussions included a consideration
      of how the sector could be represented at a strategic level within
      the Borough and how the voluntary sector could work with the
      Youth Service and other providers. A small steering group was set
      up to progress action and report back to a future forum.

				
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