The Connecting Communities Digital Inclusion Program provides Chromebooks and accessories to public libraries throughout Idaho for the purpose of expanding digital inclusion, equity, and literacy efforts. Participating libraries will create or expand existing partnerships with community organizations to reach groups or individuals benefiting from increased access to internet-enabled devices and digital literacy training. Libraries may apply for up to 20 Chromebooks and accessories, in five-unit intervals, to provide members of the public training in cybersecurity, internet use, Chromebook use, and basic technology use. Libraries are required to work with a community partner, or partners, to identify the unique digital access needs of their communities and use the Chromebooks to target those needs. Further, libraries are encouraged to work with a partner organization or individuals from any of the eight covered populations benefiting from increased access to digital resources, as identified in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021. These individuals include:
- aging individuals
- individuals with disabilities
- individuals with a language barrier
- individuals who are a member of a racial or ethnic minority group
- individuals who primarily reside in a rural area
- incarcerated individuals
- and individuals living in households whose income is not more than 150 percent of the poverty level.
The Idaho Commission for Libraries (ICfL) will provide links to training resources for libraries as a starting point for their digital skills training programs. The ICfL will also host an online learning cohort for library staff covering best practices and providing an opportunity for program participants to connect.
If you have questions about this program, please contact Library Technology Consultant Doug Baker at email@example.com, (208) 639-4173, or Digital Inclusion Consultant Chelsea Summerlin at firstname.lastname@example.org, (208) 639-4175.
This program is brought to you by the Idaho Commission for Libraries and was made possible by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.