What is the “digital divide” and how does your library help?

In 2020, when the world suddenly went virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it became dramatically apparent that to engage in today’s society, you must be plugged in. No phone or computer? No way to answer emails, apply for jobs or access information.

The digital divide refers to the gap between those who have access to digital technologies and the internet and those who do not. This gap encompasses disparities in access to hardware, internet connectivity, and digital literacy skills. It’s a significant socio-economic issue because it can exacerbate existing inequalities, limiting opportunities for education, employment, accessing services and more. Libraries bridge the digital divide by providing access to technology and digital resources.

Did you know…?

  • The Fulton County Library System offers free public access to computers with internet connectivity, allowing patrons who may not have access to personal devices or reliable internet at home to go online or use a variety of programs for life and work.
  • Can’t stay at the library to work? You can check out one of the System’s Chromebooks to use at home.
  • For those with their own devices, all 34 branches of the Library System offer free wi-fi access to patrons.
  • Your library card gives you free access to e-books, digital audiobooks, and online databases, many of which you can access remotely.
  • The System operates two mobile library innovation stations that bring library services directly to communities, extending library services to populations that may face barriers to accessing traditional library facilities. Both mobile library vans are outfitted with free wi-fi hotspots.

Libraries play a vital role in bridging the digital divide by providing access to technology, resources and digital literacy training to all members of our community, free of charge!

The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library Foundation supports digital access at the Fulton County Library System, thanks to our generous corporate, individual and foundation donors.

Atlanta-Fulton Public Library Foundation

For over 35 years, the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library Foundation has worked in partnership with the Fulton County Library System to secure the System’s future as an indispensable community resource through advocacy, raising public awareness, and generating private funding.