The Pawnee Public Library thanks to two donor desktops now has a dedicated center for job and career. The new area will help individuals with computer skills, online job searching, applications, resumes and cover letters. This is the first Job and Career Center created in the area where the closest Oklahoma Workforce office is 35 miles away but is in the service area of one that is 58 miles away. Many of the residents seeking skills and employment find it hard to travel outside their home town and do not have computers or internet at home. The new area will be promoted in the local newspaper, library website and through special trainings. Kathy McGinnis, Library Director works closely with the City Manager and the need for this center had been discussed for some time at various meetings. I was at one meeting at the library with several interns, a young man and a young lady. Ms. McGinnis was discussing how one older woman comes faithfully every day looking online for a position. She explained how this woman’s job had ended and needed another one. Ms. McGinnis was so impressed with her and expressed how much she wanted to help her and others. The young man sitting at the table said by any chance is her name _______. Ms. McGinnis look surprised and then he said, it is okay. She is my mother. – It is moments like this that you remember real people and real lives. (By the way, his mother does not have internet at home and goes to the library everyday to check for any new job listings.)
Definition: Digital Equity
Digital Equity is a condition in which all individuals and communities have the information technology capacity needed for full participation in our society, democracy and economy. Digital Equity is necessary for civic and cultural participation, employment, lifelong learning, and access to essential services.
Definition: Digital Inclusion
Digital Inclusion refers to the activities necessary to ensure that all individuals and communities, including the most disadvantaged, have 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 the needs of the user; 3) access to digital literacy training; 4) quality technical support; and 5) applications and online content designed to enable and encourage self-sufficiency, participation and collaboration. Digital Inclusion must evolve as technology advances. Digital Inclusion requires intentional strategies and investments to reduce and eliminate historical, institutional and structural barriers to access and use technology.