Digital Equity at the Library
Public libraries promote access and equality in this increasingly digital world.
Though the continued growth of technology and its presence in our lives has made things easier for many, it has also left many people behind, especially those who simply don’t have access to technology or can’t afford the expense. This digital inequity affects more and more citizens by the day, so libraries across the nation have started working to combat it. Let’s take a look at a few of the things libraries are doing to promote digital equity across socioeconomic lines.
Providing Free Access to Computers
Many libraries have freely accessible computers, and while this may not be important to those fortunate enough to have a computer of their own, it makes a massive difference in the lives of those who aren’t. With so many essential processes moving into the online space as of late, those who don’t have access to computers at home rely on the library computers to do anything from job searching to paying bills.
For these families, having access to computers at the library can save countless hours of jumping through the extra hoops associated with paper forms, giving them the time they need to work on achieving a greater degree of stability, as well as keeping the lights on and food on the table.
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Teaching Visitors Essential Skills
While many believe that today’s citizens are technologically literate by virtue of having been so widely exposed to modern technology, this often isn’t the case. Although most people know the basic skills required to navigate a device, many essential computer skills, like identifying misinformation or even the basics of digital citizenship and internet safety, go unlearned. This is especially true for those who don’t have access to a home computer, and in an increasingly digital world, it’s more often than not to their severe detriment.
Libraries step in to remedy this, holding tech literacy classes that teach people of all ages the basics of computer use, how to effectively use the tools at their disposal, and how to protect themselves and their identity as they navigate the internet. The result of these programs is a much safer, tech-literate generation, regardless of position or socioeconomic class.
Libraries have always made it their mission to provide freely accessible information to people of all types, origins, and socioeconomic classes, whether that information takes the form of books or technology. If you’d like to learn more about what libraries do and what you can do to help them fulfill their mission, feel free to visit our site at EveryLibrary today!
Visit www.everylibrary.org to learn more about our work on behalf of libraries.
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