The advantages of a learning centre in the same location as housing services are the 'shopping mall' effect from shared services that people coming in for one service are in the vicinity of others, and are more likely to use them as a result. For some, Internet access may be their main motivation for coming in, but they'll also be more likely to talk to someone in another service about concerns, wants etc.
The Calvay Centre provides an example of such an approach, as does the Hub in Wellhouse.
However, there are other opportunities to work with learning centres elsewhere.
The John Wheatley Learning Network enables local housing organisations to take advantage of other community facility learning centre hosts, working in partnership with them to provide digital inclusion services for example:
- the West of Scotland Housing Association supports the G31 Centre and its learning centre in Camlachie;
- GHA supports the Linkes learning centre in Knightswood;
- Shettleston Housing Association supported the establishment of the learning centre in the Shettleston Men's Shed;
- Tollcross Housing Association supports the learning centre in the Tollcross Advice and Learning Centre; and
- Thenue Housing Association supports digital inclusion projects in the Bridgeton Community Learning Campus and
Glasgow Life's public libraries support a wider range of digital inclusion services in 32 public libraries in Glasgow, and this public library network is as extensive as the John Wheatley Learning Network The Wheatley Group has recently invested in a new 'Click and Connect' learning centre in Castlemilk Library.
However, digital inclusion support can be provided successfully without using a learning centre at all, for example by means of taking mobile devices to the settings in which people are engaged in other interests, as illustrated by Queens Cross Housing Association who have successfully engaged residents in digital inclusion work in the context of local history and gardening groups.