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Libraries NI and The Open University have announced a new partnership to connect people with information, ideas and experiences to foster lifelong learning.
The agreement, in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), cements the strong relationship that has built-up between Libraries NI and The Open University over many years. This combination of the two organisations brings together trusted, welcoming library venues and computer facilities with The Open University’s exceptional learning resources and expertise. The Open University specialises in providing opportunities to study for learning and for higher level qualifications in ways that fit around people’s lives and commitments. For example, with the OpenLearn and FutureLearn facility, library customers and members of the public can access free courses covering a diverse range of subjects to improve their knowledge and skills.
Libraries NI Chief Executive Jim O’Hagan said:
“With 96 libraries across Northern Ireland offering a wide range of facilities including computers, Wi-Fi, printing and scanning facilities and study space, many of which are free, Libraries NI is perfectly placed to partner with The Open University. We are committed to working together to achieve our agreed objectives of promoting lifelong learning and helping people to access a wide range of services to undertake these opportunities. The services offered at local libraries can easily assist those wanting to learn.”
John D’Arcy, Director of The Open University in Northern Ireland, said:
“The Open University’s mission is to be open to people, places, methods and ideas. The opportunity to work with Libraries NI to offer our students the access to services such as computers, Wi-Fi and study space helps us to do this. It also allows people who wish to access our thousands of free resources on OpenLearn and FutureLearn a chance to do this in their local library, and take the first step into studying with the OU. The partnership with Libraries NI allows us to develop further our links into local communities and ensure that The Open University reaches people across the region.”
It is free to become a library member and access the full range of facilities needed to assist you on your learning journey with one of the many courses available at The Open University. For further information on the facilities available in your local library and how you can sign up to become a member. You can also visit www.open.ac.uk/northern-ireland for more information on the OU.