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Public Libraries and the Pandemic: Digital Shifts and Disparities to Overcome
A new report from New America, Public Libraries and the Pandemic: Digital Shifts and Disparities to Overcome, explores the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on public libraries and the ways people access information online. The pandemic has exacerbated divides that have long determined who can access resources online and how, making it harder than ever for those who need critical information and library services the most. New America’s report, which includes data from a survey of 2,620 U.S. adults, shows that people are shifting toward the use of online resources at their libraries and feel positively about them. Yet it also shows that others are unaware of, or are experiencing challenges in using those materials. This is particularly true among people of color, people in low-income households, and those who do not have adequate access to the internet at home.

Join us to unpack these findings, discuss innovative programs that libraries are developing to address these issues, and highlight policies that support more equitable access. Speakers include Tracie D. Hall, executive director of the American Libraries Association; Kelvin Watson, director of the Clark County Public Library in Las Vegas, NV; John Bracken, executive director of the Digital Public Library of America; Paolo Balboa, program manager at the National Digital Inclusion Alliance; Michelle Jeske, director of the Denver Public Library and president of the Public Libraries Association; Jenny Gerami-Markham, assistant director of Catawba County Library System near Charlotte, NC; and the authors of the report: Lisa Guernsey, director of the Teaching, Learning & Tech program at New America; Sabia Prescott, education policy analyst at New America, and Claire Park, program associate at New America’s Open Technology Institute. More speakers to come.

Follow the conversation @NewAmericaEd and @OTI and via #LibrariesDigitalShift on Twitter.

Mar 22, 2021 01:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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