The American Library Association's Washington Office tumblr. We post about federal policies that affect libraries, including copyright, privacy and access. We also post about ebooks and, admittedly, the occasional library fluff.
Posts tagged digital divide
Many individuals lack the training to make use of Internet tools. Others don’t own the necessary computer hardware, and some just don’t think the Internet is relevant to their lives.
Libraries can be the critical link to helping people overcome these challenges. They provide free high-speed Internet access, a computer to anyone who wishes to use one and hands-on assistance to teach people how they can benefit from new digital tools. Fund libraries to close Chicago’s digital divide
Carolyn A. Anthony, Public libraries taxed by demands of Affordable Care Act
What has the experience at your library been since the ACA website went live?
The Digital Divide Is Still Leaving Americans Behind
[F]olks in urban areas in search of free Internet often wind up at libraries. New York City libraries house over 4,000 publicly available computers and 1,300 laptops available for rent. New York Public Library President and CEO Anthony Marx told Mashable the New York Public Library was the leading free provider of basic computer skills training, with over 7,700 classes in all of its branches. Marx said these classes were intended to increase computer literacy among New Yorkers.
“If you don’t have the basic computer skills, you can’t apply for a job. You can’t be qualified for a job. Let alone emailing your mother and keeping in touch with her,” he said.
But Marx said that over the past five years, the city has reduced the library’s funding by about 18%, and though they haven’t closed branches or reduced staff, it’s nearly impossible to reach every New Yorker in need of a computer or wireless access.