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The City Library invites everyone in Salt Lake City to join the Tech League! The Tech League is the Library's initiative to build a more digitally inclusive community through information, workshops, events, and classes. Although many in Salt Lake City use the Internet on a daily basis, others lack access to the Internet, the devices to get connected, or the skills to use them. Without access and skills, people in our community may be left disconnected from friends and family, work opportunities, information and entertainment to improve their lives, and more. The Tech League's goal is to understand who in our community lacks Internet access and to bring the Library's resources and tools to those individuals to foster independence, connection, and success in our digital world.



What is digital inclusion?

The National Digital Inclusion Alliance defines digital inclusion as the goals and activities necessary to ensure that all individuals and communities, including the most disadvantaged, have equity in access to and use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). This includes 5 elements:

1) affordable, robust broadband internet service
2) Internet-enabled devices that meet their needs
3) sufficient digital literacy skills and access to training
4) quality technical support
5) applications and online content designed to enable and encourage self-sufficiency, diverse participation, and collaboration.

Digital Inclusion is ever evolving as technology advances and recognizes that access to—and use of—ICTs is an essential element for participation in our society and economy.

What is digital equity?

The National Digital Inclusion Alliance defines digital equity as the ultimate outcome of full digital inclusion, with focused action and investments to eliminate historic, systemic, and structural barriers that perpetuate digitally disadvantaged individuals and communities. Digital equity recognizes our social obligation to harness Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to address the needs of disadvantaged individuals, as well as communities or neighborhoods, community-based organizations, and small businesses.

How can my community be more digitally inclusive?

Digitally-inclusive communities provide:

Open-access computer labs
Public wi-fi
Free/low cost relevant digital literacy education
Community mentors
Training focused on relevant skills and use of technology rather than on "how to use technology," i.e. online dating classes, job searching, and navigating websites.
Teaching circles: community members become experts and train other community members (teens-seniors, tech professionals from their community, etc)

What is digital literacy education?

Digital literacy education gives individuals the knowledge to interact with technology to learn new skills; communicate with family and friends anywhere in the world for free; or access education, healthcare, financial, or social service resources. Examples of digital literacy education include:

Helping an individual set up an email account for the first time
A drop-in class discussing online identity theft
A series of classes that create a pathway to a career in technology
How to use Google Drive
Learning how to use YouTube to learn to play the guitar
Showing someone how to download pictures from their camera to a Facebook account

Who is affected by the digital inequities?

Digital inequity is the historic, systemic, and structural barriers that perpetuate digitally disadvantaged individuals and communities. The reasons for digital inequity may vary, based on available infrastructure and costs, discrimination or lack of investment in delivering technology and technology-related services to a specific area or to a specific population, or, for a given population, based on discriminating factors, which may include socioeconomic status, education, literacy, special needs or disabilities, language barriers, and culturally- or age-appropriate design and delivery of services. Digital inequities can impede all areas of community development: workforce development, economic development, equitable education, accessing health records, accessing financial services, and access to social services.

What are some of the barriers to home broadband service and individuals using the Internet?

There are several reasons individuals may not have access to home broadband service. Some people do not have the skills or digital literacy education to be able to use the internet in their home. Some individuals do not see the relevance of having home broadband service. Cost can also be a barrier.

The Library offers Laptop Discovery Kits for checkout. What are the borrowing requirements for these kits?

Patrons interested in borrowing these kits must be 18 years of age or older, show a current government-issued photo ID, have a Salt Lake City Public Library card that is in good standing, have an active email address that patron checks regularly, and initial and sign a user agreement. All contact information must be current.