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Library Month: Bridging the digital divide

Oct 29, 2020

October is Library Month, and this year, we are marking the month by celebratingkindness.In these challenging times, kindness is more important than ever. As we strive to be kind to others and to ourselves, we also want to take the opportunity to recognize the kindness present in our communities.So many organizations are overcoming constant challenges in order to serve their communities, and we areproud to be working with them. 

Sincethe beginning of the pandemic, OPL has been working with community organizations to help bridge the digital divide. To date, we have provided139 Chromebooks and 13 hotspots to 26 organizationson extended loan. These Chromebooks and hotspots are being used by organizations to givecomputer and internet access to vulnerable communities, allowing them to access forms, searchfor jobs, support their schoolwork,ordergroceries and medicineonline, andaccess current and reliable public health information.In particular, withthe return to school in September, many organizations are working hard to meet the needs of local youth. 

OPLhas loaned44Chromebooks to several Boys and Girls Clubsites. One way in which these Chromebooks are being used isfor the program, “Raise the Grade,”whichpairs high school studentswith a mentor for homework help and life skills support. Chromebooks allow students to complete their homework and to connect with their mentorsvirtually.They also allow the Boys and Girls Clubs staff to sign in members and perform other work tasks 

18Chromebooks have also been loaned to the YMCA-YWCA to be used for their programs. One of these programs is the YMCA-YWCA Second Stage Housing program, which provides assistanceand transitional housing for youth no longer able to live at home. This program helps youth work towards independence, and members will use the Chromebooks for job searches, online workshops and courses, homework, counselling, apartment searches, and more! 

FourChromebooks werealsoloaned to the Michele Heights Community Centre. The community centre is starting a homework clubfor high school students, and they will use the Chromebooks to support this new program. The centre will also be providing a space for studentswho need a quiet place to work. 

There are many organizations in our community who are spreading kindness and helpingvulnerable peopleaccess resources andstay connected. To learn more about the fantastic work thesecommunitygroups are doing, and how OPL is working with them, please see our postsSharing, caring, and connecting in the communityandBridging gaps in the community. If your organization would like to get involved in this project, please contact OPL at 613-580-2940 or 


We’ll get through this together by staying strong and wise, and our daily quotient of kindness with these uplifting reads for a Library Month celebrating kindness: