A cheer for libraries and access to broadband in Alexandria

A recent Echo Press letter to the Editor, points out the value of the library and a nig part of that is access to broadband…

Public libraries provide access to vital technology and broadband, supporting students, families and lifelong learners of all ages. In 2020, VLS began circulating Wi-Fi hotspots, a service which one library patron called “a lifesaver for seniors and the homebound.” Stories like this one happen in all 365 Minnesota communities with a public library. Every Minnesotan benefits from our libraries.

As a former Reference Librarian, I’m going to take librarian privilege here to add that while it’s great to get access at the library but it’s even better to have access at home too. It makes a big difference to be able to work and to schoolwork from home. BUT the library is a great on ramp to broadband. Librarians are great with helping patrons get started using technology. Many libraries offer classes and most librarians are able to take the time with handholding when a patron needs it.

Also, it’s nice to have a communal place where people can work online. Students know this well. It’s great to have a place where you can collaborate. Small business owners are starting understanding this as well. A place that’s quiet or has a room with good broadband and you know the Zoom will work and no dogs or kids will interrupt. So there will always be a place for libraries and librarians but we’d like it to be the alternate place to get online.

This entry was posted in education, MN, Policy by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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