OC public libraries will receive Chromebooks in a bid to bridge the digital divide

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By Breeana Greenberg

The Orange County Board of Supervisors has voted to allow OC public libraries to accept Chromebooks and accessory kits from the California State Library and the Southern California Library Cooperative. It’s part of a larger effort to bridge the country’s “digital divide”.

According to American Library Association, $200 million of the $1.9 trillion US bailout went to the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the federal Library Services and Technology Act. The California State Library received $1.875 million. The funds aim to bridge the digital divide – the gap between those who have access to the Internet or computers and those who do not – and to create more digitally inclusive communities by providing library users with a internet access from home.

The Southern California Library Cooperative will purchase Chromebooks, laptop cases, wipeable headsets and wired mice for Orange County public libraries with the funds, valued at $38,000.

“Libraries are hubs of digital access in their communities,” State Librarian Greg Lucas wrote in early November. Press release. “There are 23,000 terminals in California’s 1,130 libraries and they’re in use all day, every day. These federal US bailout funds are enabling more libraries to provide better digital access by verifying Wi-Fi hotspots and laptops to Californians in need.

Chromebooks and accessory kits will be shipped directly to OC Public Libraries headquarters for distribution to local branches.

Breeana Greenberg is the city reporter for the Dana Point Times. She graduated from Chapman University with a Bachelor of Arts in English. Prior to joining Picket Fence Media, she worked as a freelance journalist for the Laguna Beach Independent. Breeana can be reached by email at [email protected]

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