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How Libraries Are Bridging the Digital Divide


How Libraries Are Bridging the Digital Divide

“In this Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014 photo, retirees Edna, left, and Pedro Cortes make use of computers at a branch of the Citrus County Library, in Beverly Hills, Fla.
( AP Photo/John Raoux )

There are about 5 million households in rural areas without broadband internet. According to a Pew Research Center report, only two-thirds of rural Americans have access to broadband. This gap has been called the digital divide, and policymakers are increasingly making efforts to get the majority of Americans access to high-speed internet, focusing primarily on rural areas.

But these efforts overlook the fact that there are 15 million households outside of rural America where people don’t have broadband internet. When people don’t have the internet at home or are unsure how to use digital tools, they turn to their local library–no matter where they are in the country. Librarians are at the forefront of understanding our digital divide, and they know it’s far more complicated than having, or not having, internet.

Lauren Comito is the Neighborhood Library Supervisor at the Leonard Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library and editor of the book Tech for All – Moving beyond the Digital DivideJessamyn West is a librarian and researcher in one of those rural communities, Randolph, Vermont, which has a population of 5,000.

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Posted on: October 5, 2019, 11:08 am Category: Uncategorized

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