More information is available online than ever. Libraries are stepping in to make sure everyone can access it.
Not everyone has access to tech resources many take for granted, including laptops and an internet connection. That’s where libraries can help.
Chnit Siri Kan Ti N Cheiynghim / Getty Images
One night a few years ago, Tony Marx was closing up a Bronx library when he noticed a kid sitting on the steps. The boy was pecking away on the oldest laptop Marx had ever seen. Puzzled, Marx asked him what he was doing.
The boy told Marx he was doing his math homework. The assignment was online and the boy’s family couldn’t afford broadband at home. So the youngster camped out on the library stoop to pick up its leaked signal.
“Holy moly,” Marx, the president and CEO of the New York Public Library, remembers thinking. “‘In the information capital of the world, this kid can’t do the math homework we want him to do to succeed.'”
Since then, the NYPL has rolled out a host of services aimed at closing the digital divide, which is exactly what it sounds like: the gap between those who can easily get online and those who can’t.
Read the whole article by Abrar Al-Heeti on cnet.com.
We are everywhere!
By “We” I mean public libraries, of course.
According to the American Library Association there are 16,568 public libraries (including branch locations) in the United States!
That’s more libraries than there are Starbucks! Than there are McDonald’s! More than all the KFCs, Taco Bells and Walmarts put together!
According to the Institute of Museum and Library Services, those 16,568 libraries serve over 297 million people, over 96% of the population! There are 3 libraries and 5.8 library outlets (branches, bookmobiles, etc.) for every 100,000 people.
It turns out we are a big part of life for a huge number of Americans. We’re just kind of quiet about it. Self-promotion is difficult when you have been quietly doing your job of providing free access to books, information, technology, services and educational, cultural and entertainment programming for the last couple of hundred years. We are working on it, but it is slow going.
The good news is that you can help. If you are one of those 297 million that we serve, and odds are good that your are, just keep us in mind. Remember us the next time you’re in line at Starbucks, and maybe make a note to let somebody know about how great the local library is.
It doesn’t matter where your are, there should be one nearby.
Stop by our lobby to meet Recruiting Assistant Sunday Saunders. She will be available to answer questions about the upcoming 2020 Census and discuss the many job openings available to Rock Island County residents.
Maybe your day wasn’t bright (it’s been raining here for hours), but it was probably colder than you would’ve liked.
Either way, something about today put me in mind of the opening line from George Orwell’s classic 1984. Something ever so mildly bleak in the air. I’m sure it is a passing thing and that spring will arrive in full force soon, but still…
I guess, what I am trying to say is that it is a great day to go some place quiet and comfortable with lots of reading material, and maybe an attached cafe where you can get a sandwich and a cup of coffee, and hold up for hours reading. Maybe learning about any other services that such a magical place could provide or, at the very least, assembling a small stack of books that I would then see if I could borrow.
If only such a wonderful place existed. *wink*
… And by “Beware” we mean “Attend”.
Visit with employers who are hiring. Participants are encouraged to bring resumes and dress appropriately for an interview.
Employers scheduled to attend include, but may not be limited to:
- ARC of the Quad Cities area
- Cintas Corporation
- Miller Container
- AUSP Thomson Prison
- Schneider National Trucking
- Volt Workforce Solutions
- Tyson Fresh Meats
- Elliott Aviation
- Illinois State Police
- UPS—United Parcel Service
- Illinois DOC—Dept. of Corrections
- Iowa 80 Group
- Modern Woodmen
This free 8 week course series meets every Wednesday from 6pm until 7:30pm beginning March 13th until May 1st. This course is open to anyone wanting to prepare for the United States citizenship test.
You must have basic English language skills.
Registration is required, as space is limited.
Or know someone that might be?