NEARLY half of households in Glasgow do not have access to the internet.

Despite the huge reliance on computers as part of daily life, more than 115,000 households across the city are not connected to the web.

In response to this shock statistic, Glasgow Libraries has launched a push to get people using the internet in their local library.

Councillor Archie Graham, chairman of Glasgow Life, said: “With 32 community libraries, one in every council ward, as well as the Mitchell Library, Glasgow Libraries offer local residents the opportunity to engage with technology on their doorstep, whether they need support with using computers, require a faster, secure connection or simply want to print vital documentation.

“Glaswegians use the free computers in libraries every day to perform a whole range of activities, from everyday email correspondence with friends and family to searching for employment and claiming benefits.

“And through our extensive digital learning provision, we’ve also been able to see first-hand the impact that programmes such as the Getting Started with Computers and Goals 4 Work classes can have in opening up the benefits of technology to all residents, regardless of age or ability.”

Glasgow Libraries is creating opportunities for residents to use the free library computers for all kinds of tasks, be that learning the basics or shopping online.

Digital learning classes, run at all 33 libraries across the city, offer insight in to the benefits of using a computer - and these have been visited more than 4700 since April 2015.

For many, the classes offer a lifeline – a chance to meet people, build confidence and take the next step in life.

Learner Anne-Marie Coulter said the classes have changed her life.

The 46-year-old said: "I’d spent most of my adult life caring for my mother and when she sadly passed away not only was I mourning her loss, I also felt quite isolated.

“I wanted to do something for me; I wanted to do something with my life and so I signed up for a computer course at my library.

“I didn’t really know what to expect. Truth be told, I was really nervous – I think everyone in the class was – but the fact that the sessions were in a library, not a normal classroom, made me so much more relaxed.”

Taking part in the weekly computer courses has encouraged Anne-Marie, from Cardonald, to sign up for an adult return course at college.

She added: “I look back at what I was like before and I know that this course has made me a stronger person.

"Being able to come here, have a cup of tea and chat with the other people on the course, the library staff and tutor really helped me to achieve my goals and brought me out of myself – I’m still learning but I can do lots of things now.

“I had been put down a lot in the past and left school without any qualifications, but these classes have given me the confidence to go back to college to gain the qualifications I need to find the job I want. "The computer classes have given me a second chance in life.”

Library customers are able to access computer-based study programmes across the city’s libraries.

Getting Started classes offer support and guidance for all; with classes ranging from how to use a mouse to accessing the internet whilst the Goals 4 Work programme offers tailored support to highlight the benefits of using a computer for job searching and CV writing.

And there is even an introduction to Smart-Technology class, offering an insight in to the world of tablets and mobile phones.

Online business courses are available to budding entrepreneurs in the Business suite at The Mitchell Library.

In addition to the computer classes, library users are able to access more than 600 PCs across the city.

Glasgow Library computers have already been used more than 650,000 times so far this year, with people using the service to complete routine and life-changing activities, from shopping online and printing boarding-passes to searching for jobs and applying for college.

And with public computers in the city’s 32 community libraries, as well as The Mitchell Library, recently updated and refreshed, Glasgow Life hopes that residents will continue to make use of the free access to technology on offer across the city.

To find out more about computer courses in local libraries see