In the era where all information known to man is just a mouse click away, libraries face an uphill struggle to survive. But news reaches us today that promises to give the oft-neglected spaces a shot in the arm.
Under a plan helmed by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA), local councils will gain access to a high speed network which has hitherto been the preserve of the schools and colleges.
The local authorities certainly weren't lying about the high-speed bit. Janet, as the network is charmingly named, is capable of providing a broadband connection speed of up to 1GB per second. By way of comparison, that’s up to ten times faster than existing typical bandwidths at central libraries in England - and up to ten times faster again when pitted against home broadband connections.
We’re not sure whether access to the network has the power to transform libraries into thriving community hubs overnight. But we are sure that free access to a super fast connection is a boon for economically disadvantaged people. And we're even more certain that lightning quick broadband will make libraries more relevant to the information age than any amount of cheesy rebranding as ‘learning zones’ ever could.