“Access to a computer is a need, not a convenience”
Last spring when COVID-19 shut down our Libraries and most of the country, cracks in the public’s access to information were exposed. With the community relying almost exclusively on the internet for information, nearly 20% of homes in Mecklenburg County do not have reliable internet access or a computer.
Efforts to close the digital divide aren’t new, and Library initiatives like digital literacy courses, free Wi-Fi, computer labs and more have been a part of the solution for years. But over the last six months, these efforts have become even more urgent.
“We realized while our facilities were closed just how critical Library computers are for so many in our community. Customers rely on the Library for access to information, job searches and online applications for everything from employment to benefits,” observes Caitlin Moen, Chief Customer Officer and Library Director. “Access to a computer is a need, not a convenience, especially now.”
With support from the COVID-19 Response Fund, a fund jointly administered by Foundation For The Carolinas and United Way of Central Carolinas, your Library has purchased fifty Chromebooks and accessories for loan. The devices will be available for checkout from five Library locations where demand for Library computers is the greatest.
This gift is especially meaningful because the COVID-19 Response Fund is the result of contributions from individuals, organizations and businesses across our region, an illustration of this community’s generosity and willingness to support one another.
Thank you for your ongoing support, which allows the Library to respond quickly to changing priorities in these uncertain times.