Electricals retailer Hughes supports Suffolk Libraries technology initiative

Ashley Shorey-Mills of Hughes with Helen Haynes of Suffolk Libraries.

Ashley Shorey-Mills of Hughes with Helen Haynes of Suffolk Libraries. - Credit: Archant

Suffolk-based electricals retailer Hughes is supporting a campaign by the county’s library service to get help more people get to grips with technology.

Suffolk Libraries’ “Get Connected” scheme involves a series of special workshops at which people can learn about how tablet devices work and the benefits they can offer.

There is then an opportunity to borrow a tablet for up to three weeks,completely free of charge.

The scheme was launched following a trial at Halesworth library for which Hughes, which is based in Lowestoft and has more than 40 stores across the East of England and the Midlands, provided a selection of tablets, together with member of staff to provide the necessary expertise.

A total of 17 libraries are now offering the loan system, with more in the pipeline.

Helen Haynes, information and content librarian at Suffolk Libraries, said: “We believe this is unique in the UK as from our research we could find nothing else like it, and in fact had to contact libraries in the USA for advice on how best to run the scheme.

“We successfully trialled it at Halesworth library where we partnered with Hughes Electrical. Following feedback from customers we decided to just use iPads going forward as they were deemed to be the most easy to use.”

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She added: “It is a great way to promote the e-book and e-magazine scheme run by Suffolk Libraries while also showing people how they can help with other parts of their lives, be it banking, booking tickets for events or using email and surfing the web.

“We see it as another way we can offer an additional service to our customers who can get hands-on experience in using them and we have had special covers made to keep the devices in good condition.”

Ashley Shorey-Mills, area manager at Hughes, said: “We are delighted to be working with Helen and her team to offer this scheme and it is very satisfying to be able to help people embrace the latest technology and see how easy it is.

“We keep it as simple as possible but it can still have a very positive effect on their lives.”