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Keeping Communities Connected

ALA – New report spotlights creative library broadband services during the pandemic – “America’s libraries have long been a cornerstone for equitable access to information and broadband services. The country’s nearly 17,000 public libraries offer no-fee internet access, Wi-Fi, and devices, such as computers and tablets. Many offer formal digital skills building classes, informal assistance with digital tasks, as well as hotspots and devices for loan—helping to connect underserved communities, bridge the digital divide, and empower people online. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic a majority of libraries were temporarily forced to close their buildings to the public.1 Acutely aware of their role in providing essential connectivity to jobseekers, students, parents, older Americans, veterans, small business owners, the homeless, and many more, the nation’s libraries
quickly pivoted to continue to offer
public internet access and other services while adhering to public
health guidelines. As it became clear
that the pandemic would not be over soon, libraries again adjusted to offer relevant services over the longer term…”

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