Digital Divide

Public libraries top public Wi-Fi spot for African Americans, Latinos

Patrons using Wi-Fi at the MLK Digital Commons in Washington D.C.

A first-of-its-kind survey (pdf) finds that public libraries are the most common public Wi-Fi access point for African Americans and Latinos—with roughly one-third of these communities using public library Wi-Fi. This is true for 23 percent of white people, who list school as their top public Wi-Fi spot. The study of Wi-Fi usage patterns by John Horrigan and Jason Llorenz ... Read More »

Looking ahead- replacing bureaucracy with smartphones?

This week, I attended an event at the American Enterprise Institute, “Veterans and their smartphones: Creating a 21st-century veterans service system” that featured former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. In his discussion, he spoke passionately about the bureaucratic failings of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), highlighting recent, high-profile scandals. Mr. Gingrich bypassed any calls for reform, advocating instead for “imagination ... Read More »

Improving digital inclusion in Native communities

Today, the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums (ATALM) released the study, Digital Inclusion in Native Communities: The Role of Tribal Libraries (pdf). The national study is the first to provide comprehensive data on the structure, activities, and needs of tribal libraries as they improve broadband access and digital literacy in Native communities. Key findings from the study: One ... Read More »

What will the future look like? Consumers may decide

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Last week, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) hosted a panel discussion on IT and disruptive innovation featuring the authors of Code Halos: How the Digital Lives of People, Things, and Organizations are Changing the Rules of Business. The discussion focused on the way in which consumers leave a code trail, or “halo” in virtually everything they do from ... Read More »

Nearly 100 percent of libraries offer tech training and workforce programs, study finds

According to a new study from the American Library Association (ALA), nearly 100 percent of America’s public libraries offer workforce development training programs, online job resources, and technology skills training. Combined with maker spaces, coding classes, and programs dedicated to entrepreneurship and small business development, libraries are equipping U.S. communities with the resources and skills needed to succeed in today’s ... Read More »