Sunday, March 9, 2014

Bridging the Digital Divide: What can YOUR library do?

This week's readings were full of statistics and research findings, so I spent some time researching real-world public libraries actively working to bridge the digital divide. The Gazette, the newspaper in Eastern Iowa, published an article featuring a local library focusing on the digital gap. This past Saturday the Cedar Rapids Public Library launched two programs, Tablets2Go and Tablets4Tots that allow children and adults to borrow tablets for home use. This initiative is similar to a successful lending program at L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. By lending out tablets and iPads public libraries provide access to digital materials that patrons might otherwise be unable to use. While this is obviously not a solution to the many problems of the digital divide we read about for this week, it is one way public libraries are attempting to bridge the gap in their communities. Although this is not an academic or professional article, I think it is important for us as professionals to be aware and up-to-date of the going-ons in public libraries throughout the nation, and reading news articles such as this one is a great way to keep up.

Smith, Rick. "Cedar Rapids Library to Lend Computer Tablets to 'Bridge the Digital Divide.'" The Gazette.27 February 2014. Web.

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