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Caithness.org News Bulletins -  November 2002

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An ambitious project to provide free Internet access at all Highland Council libraries was officially launched at Inverness library on Friday 6th Dec by Peter Peacock MSP, Deputy Minister for Finance and Public Services.

At the launch of the Peoples Network Project Mr Peacock reinforced the Governments support for the project which was made possible by a lottery grant of 714,000 to The Highland Council from the New Opportunities Fund as part of the Governments Peoples Network initiative.

Councillor Neil Clark, Vice-Chairman of The Highland Councils Education, Culture and Sport Committee said: "The Peoples Network project will not only provide free Internet access for all but will also provide free access to a variety of electronic information services, such as Encarta and other CD-ROMs. "Users will also have access to the latest Microsoft Office products. Through these services, the Peoples Network Project will help to eradicate the problem of social exclusion and offer improved learning opportunities for all in the Highlands."

The project will also enable access to NewsBank Scotland, an on-line database of Scottish and UK newspapers from 1998 to the present. Users will be able to search back issues of a variety of titles, including the Press and Journal, Herald, Scotsman, Daily Record, Daily Mail, Independent, Guardian and their associated Sunday papers.

Over the next few months more events will take place at libraries all across the Highlands to showcase the benefits that the Peoples Network will bring.  To date, 29 of the 43 Highland Council libraries have had Peoples Network computers and services installed.  These libraries include: Achiltibuie, Alness, Aviemore, Beauly, Brora, Caol, Cromarty, Culloden, Dingwall, Dornoch, Fort William, Gairloch, Golspie, Grantown, Invergordon, Inverness, Kinlochleven, Kyle, Lochcarron, Lairg, Mallaig, Muir of Ord, Nairn, Plockton, Portree, Tain, Thurso, Ullapool, and Wick.

All 43 Highland Council libraries will be installed with the project by the New Year.

For more information on the project see www.peoplesnetwork.gov.uk