Lewisham Council - Tablet-borrowing scheme for over-55s, community groups and those on benefits
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Tablet-borrowing scheme for over-55s, community groups and those on benefits

​If you’re over 55, part of a community group or getting certain benefits, you can now borrow tablet computers from the library and get training in how to use them.

This is a pilot project running until January 2018. There are 70 tablets available in total. 

Who can borrow a tablet?

You may be eligible to borrow a tablet, if you are:

  • aged 55 or over 
  • getting benefits – council tax reduction, housing benefit, universal credit, tax credits (not child tax credit), income support, jobseekers allowance, employment and support allowance
  • have a disability
  • a carer
  • living in social housing.

How to borrow a tablet

If you are interested in borrowing a tablet and think that you qualify, please email libraries@lewisham.gov.uk or phone 020 8314 8024.

If you are eligible you can borrow a tablet from three hub libraries in the borough:

  1. Lewisham Library
  2. Downham Library
  3. The Library at Deptford Lounge.

If all the tablets are on loan, we will put your name and details on a waiting list and contact you when one becomes available.

Community groups

If you are part of a community group and would like to ask about borrowing a tablet, please email libraries@lewisham.gov.uk or phone 020 8314 8024.

How long you can have the tablet for

You can borrow the tablet for four weeks.

When you borrow the tablet, we will give you a slip that shows the date you need to bring it back by.

You can return the tablet to any of the three hub libraries listed below.

Training offered

If you borrow a tablet, you will get six hours of basic training in how to use it. This will include:

  • mentoring sessions
  • pre-prepared IT training tutorials called Learn My Way.

The tablets will also come pre-loaded with useful software such as:

  • Overdrive, so you can borrow and download eBooks and audiobooks
  • Zinio, so you can borrow and download magazines
  • TapTapSee, software designed to help people who are blind or have a visual impairment 
  • CamScanner, so you can use your tablet to scan and organise documents.

Benefits of borrowing a tablet from us

By borrowing a tablet and taking part in the training, you will:

  • learn how to get the best from the internet
  • learn how to stay safe online
  • be less likely to become isolated from other people
  • become more confident in the using the internet and digital devices.

What happens if the tablet is damaged, lost or stolen

Before you borrow the tablet, we will ask you to sign a lender’s policy. If you have any issues with the tablet please contact the library that you borrowed it from.

Background to the tablet-borrowing scheme

We are running this pilot project as part of the Mayor of London’s Mi Wifi scheme.

Mi Wifi aims to:

  • test whether lending tablets through libraries or community centres can reduce digital exclusion among specific groups such as older people, those with disabilities and community groups
  • provide basic digital skills training to encourage people to benefit their lives by going online.

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