Membership Meeting: Digital Equity Update
We’ve addressed digital equity with you before, via SWON weekly and in a webinar
after Melanie had the chance to attend the National Digital Inclusion
Alliance’s (NDIA) first summit
in Kansas City. It remains an important issue: over
half of rural Americans lack broadband access. And as we noted before, Connect Ohio’s data shows that Southwest Ohio is hardly immune
to the problem. Many of us, including in urban areas, still lack the means --
be those financial or actual physical cable – in an increasingly digital world.
Of particular concern is the so-called “homework gap.” What
to do when more schools are requiring digital components to their after school
work. Sure, many of them provide the iPads as part of popular one-to-one
initiatives, but all the tablet computers in the world are of no use without
the internet connections with which to use them.
Public libraries, of course, have seen this in action. Many
of those patrons come to you because the lack internet at home. Your Wi-Fi use
is skyrocketing. Mobile access is becoming increasingly important. And there
are many ways we, and this includes libraries of all types, can help more by
providing more Wi-Fi access, lending out Wi-Fi
hotspots, or providing Wi-Fi
Our December Membership Meeting is coming right up –
December 1st will be here before you know it! This meeting provides
you with a chance to meet with your Special Interest Groups (SIGs), enjoy lunch and network,
and learn a little more about who we at SWON are and what we do. This fall, we
are also pleased to offer you the opportunity to hear from Angela Siefer,
Director of the NDIA.
Angela envisions a world in which all members of society
have the skills and the resources to use the internet for the betterment of
themselves and their communities. Since 1997, she has worked on digital
inclusion issues with local community organizations, the National
Telecommunications Information Administration, state governments, and the
Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition.
Angela will give us an update on Federal Agency rulings and
their meanings as well as how some telecommunications companies and non-profits
are working together to address digital equity issues around the country.
So register today for our Membership Meeting and enjoy the
chance to catch up with colleagues and with the news on digital inclusion.
Lunch is provided and there will be an opportunity to vote on our 2017 budget. We’re
looking forward to seeing you there!
Cassondra Vick, MLIS
Technology Educator, SWON Libraries