This therefore puts not only children but their parents a grave disadvantage. We are all familiar with the situation in which a child requests help with algebra homework and the parents can do no more than do a good goldfish impression, so how much more difficult is it going to be for both child and parent when it comes to accessing the Internet when neither know what they are supposed to be doing. A school can only do so much and of course a child can only access Internet computers in school when the school is open. This is surely where the library comes into play. Children who do not only need access to the Internet they need access to reading materials and educational material. The library is in a perfect position to provide both, and indeed librarians who are confident and happy with using the Internet can also provide further assistance to children and their parents on getting the information that they require.
This can of course only be done in those situations where libraries do have access to the Internet, with a fast broadband connection and machines which are up to specification. We also need to remember that just because a child is sitting in front of an Internet computer it does not necessarily follow that they know what to do with it. These figures, grim as they are, surely provide further ammunition, if ammunition should be required, that libraries needs to be well staffed, and with good access to the Internet. Reduced funds and reduced access to the Internet certainly harm the poorest in our society but they are also helping to rob the future of its digitally literate population.