Print Page   |   Sign In
SWON News: SWON Weekly

SWON Weekly: Why you should care about digital equity

Thursday, June 2, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Cassondra Vick
Share |
SWON Libraries Weeekly

What's "digital equity" and why should I care?

Almost exactly 80 years ago, in May of 1936, the Rural Electrification Act was signed. This act provided electricity to rural areas where the power companies did not find it profitable to extend wires. Twenty or so years ago, the term “digital divide” was born. This phrase -- meant to distinguish between the haves and have-nots of technology and computer literacy -- is probably a familiar one to you. Libraries and schools, in an attempt to address this problem, began adding computers, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and computer training, and have largely succeeded in their missions to provide on-site technology and technology training.


Now, decades later, we are talking about a different sort of problem – one more closely related to the one that the Rural Electrification Act was created to address – and it is being called “digital equity.” Digital equity is the idea that, when it comes to broadband access, there are “haves” and “have-nots.”  Many areas of the county lack the actual ability to connect to broadband because they live where the cables just don’t (or often won’t) run.


A quick look at the data available from Connect Ohio, an organization dedicated to bringing broadband access to Ohio, shows that Southwestern Ohio (that’s the S.W.O. in SWON, of course!) is surprisingly lacking in broadband penetration. But you might be wondering what this has to do with libraries. After all, we can’t lay the fiber optic cable ourselves!


There are many new and innovative ideas bubbling to address just this question. A few libraries are looking into providing access via “TV White Space.” Others are lending out Wi-Fi hotspots. The Consortium for School Networking has some great ideas that, while targeted at schools, are worth our consideration, as well. (You can download the CoSN Digital Equity Action Toolkit for some of those ideas at this link.)


Interested in learning more? Melanie has recently returned from the National Digital Inclusion Alliance’s first summit in Kansas City and would love to share with you some of what she has learned. Join us on June 20th at 2 PM to for our Innovation Conversation on the basics on Digital Inclusion and answer the question, “Why should you care?” 

~ Cassondra Vick, Technology Educator, SWON Libraries

Innovation Conversations

Join us for our Digital Equity Innovation Conversation

Innovation Conversations give you the chance to hear from and speak with library leaders from all library types and from all over the English speaking library world. Each month you can interact with an award-winning or recognized leader in our field. 

The first part of the online meeting will feature a short presentation on the topic that brought this library leader to our attention. The second part is a live interview, covering questions you’ve sent to us in advance and some we’ve thought of. The third part will field your questions, a live Q&A, in the webinar. Ask about the challenges, the key details, and whatever else you would like to learn. 


Momnet discount

Contact Rick Hughes at and mention your membership for discount

MOM provides...

MULTIFUNCTION SYSTEMS – Most refer to them as “copiers,” but they are so much more. MOM implements the right technology to vastly improve your office productivity and efficiency while lowering administrative expenses.

MANAGED PRINT SERVICES (MPS) – Optimizing output devices to dramatically reduce the cost of your printer fleet (up to 30%) and allowing you to concentrate on your business versus your printers.

DOCUMENT WORKFLOW – Simplifying how you create, capture, manage, access, and distribute your documents within your business’ processes.

PRODUCTION PRINT – This equipment offers scalability coupled with fast output, superior image quality, and simple operation even during peak volume demands.

MOBILE SOLUTIONS – We take your mobile devices to the next level and increase your productivity by extending back office business applications directly from your mobile device.

MANAGED SERVICES – MOM provides outsourcing of day-to-day management responsibilities as a strategic method for improving our clients’ operations. This can include IT services, production support, and administrative activities.

Join SLA for a Manufactory Tour on Wednesday July 27th

Do you like to create, but lack what you need to bring your vision to reality? Are there things you would like to learn how to do, and have a place to do them? Would you like to share your special skills with others while learning new things? If your answer is yes to any of these questions, please join the SLA Cincinnati Chapter for a tour of the area’s premier publicly accessible makerspace!

The Manufactory is a 17,000 sq. ft. membership workshop in northern Cincinnati. Their workshops are chock full of equipment and tools, and it is the perfect place for anyone who likes to build things.  As Cincinnati’s only fully equipped makerspace, The Manufactory offers a location to learning new skills and gain confidence with the making experience. Additionally, their extensive educational program is designed to teach everyone how to safely operate all equipment. If you’ve ever wanted to expand the reach of your library in a new exciting direction, you need to attend this event!

Date and Time:
Wednesday, July 27th from 5:30 – 6:30 pm with a social event (including appetizers) following the tour at: Brij Mohan Indian

Tour Address: 
The Manufactory: 12055 Mosteller Rd. Cincinnati, OH ?45241
Location Map

Social Event Address:
Brij Mohan Indian: 11259 Reading Rd. Cincinnati, OH 45241
Location Map


Available on site.
Questions: Please contact Mike Wells at or (859) 572-6026.

Sign In

Latest News
Upcoming Events

NLM - Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Nine Conversations that Matter to Health Sciences Librarians

Children's Literature Evaluation Group (CLEAR) - NKY

Archived Webinar- Virtual Trivia 101: Writing the Show, Engaging the crowd, Keeping score

NEO Webinar - Brand Touchpoints: All the Staff & All the Stuff