What Does Digital Inclusion Mean to You?
Submitted by Annie Malone, Director of Library Programs & Services
The global pandemic exposed the digital inequities faced daily by our community members. As friends and neighbors hustled to pay their internet bills, access online educational services, and figure out how to master devices, folks who couldn’t get the help they needed were excluded from our economy, democracy, and society. Digital inclusion looks like internet access for everyone, internet-enabled devices for those who need them, and teaching digital literacy skills to promote individual independence. Part of VLP’s mission is to champion lifelong learning and digital inclusion is the key—with internet access and curiosity, you can find out how to cook, repair, or create anything!
At VLP, we are interested in closing the digital divide and providing our community with resources and opportunities to access technology and master high-tech devices. Our Library Staff have started Tech Help, a time when community members can come to the library with questions about their new phones, setting up email, or for help completing an online form. In April, we’re excited to launch Adult Tutoring on Wednesday evenings for those who want to take the GED and Basic Computer Classes on Mondays for those who are looking to learn more about devices. VLP has prioritized training our staff in Digital Equity initiatives so that we are united in our effort to close the knowledge and access gap. With this multifaceted approach, VLP is positioned to be a model site for digital inclusion in Baltimore City.