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The library lottery;Digital visions

The New Opportunities Fund, which distributes National Lottery profts, is the main source of several new fundinginitiatives for libraries:

* pound;70 million to pump-prime the development of the New Library Network * pound;50 million to allow libraries to create digital content for the network * pound;6 million from the Department of Culture Media and SportWolfson Public Library Challenge Fund for ICT * All 27,000 staff in public libraries will be trained in information and communications technology under a pound;20 million NOF-funded scheme * School librarians will be eligible for ICT training under the pound;230 million NOF initiative to train school teachers in ICT * Libraries could also share in an additional pound;400 million from NOF being distributed to education, health and the environment.

Public libraries cost pound;672 million in the year to March 1998 and pound;101 million was spent on books and other materials.

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