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Libraries Go Live 24-7
Wednesday 19th October, 2005

Wigan Borough’s library service is set to go live 24 hours a day with the launch of the People’s Network online services. Wigan Library is hosting the official launch, with the aid of Wigan Warriors star Sean O’Loughlin and Gareth Hock, who will be scrumming down at the library to debut the library’s new Enquire service.

The launch of the People’s Network online services signals the creation of the first ever national online face for public libraries, with a new 24/7 question and answer service (Enquire), a personalised Internet search engine (Discover) and enhanced access to online services linked to reading (Read).

“We are extremely excited that we are going live with the Enquire service, we hope that it will result in more and more people using the library as a resource that they can tap into at any time of the day,” says Jean Lamb, Information Services Co-ordinator. “These new online facilities are a welcome addition to the wide array of services we already provide across the Wigan Borough. They also underline the growing importance of libraries as community information hubs.”

Enquire will allow members of the public to ask questions of the library staff at anytime day or night. The service works similarly to online messaging or a chatroom, enabling customers to have instant access to a librarian to seek advice or to make a reference enquiry.

The development of an effective People’s Network is vital to Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust’s new vision for the library service. The People’s Network has helped to move libraries into the 21st Century by using the latest broadband connections in over 20,000 terminals across the country (184 in Wigan Borough), providing free or low cost access to the Internet.

The new online services go live as of the 19th October and are available to everybody within the Wigan Borough. Further information can be obtained from www.wlct.org/libraries. For more information about the People’s Network, visit www.peoplesnetwork.gov.uk.

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