Digital Inclusion Issue Brief Released

Tuesday, October 1st 2013

The ubiquitous nature of the Internet and accompanying services and technologies now makes equitable access to and participation in the online environment essential for success in education, employment, finance, health and wellness, civic engagement, and more. Digital inclusion brings together high-speed Internet access, information and communication technologies, and digital literacy in ways that provide opportunities for individuals and communities to succeed in the digital environment.

Public libraries support digital inclusion in four essential ways:

  • By providing free access to public access technologies (hardware, software, high-speed Internet connectivity) in their communities.
  • By providing access to a range of digital content to their communities.
  • By providing digital literacy services that assist individuals navigate, understand, evaluate, and create digital content using a range of information and communications technologies.
  • By providing programs and services around key community need areas such as health and wellness, education, employment and workforce development, and civic engagement.

The recently released Public Libraries and Digital Inclusion issue brief discusses the key roles that public libraries play in building digitally inclusive communities.