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Library at Home: Housing Authority Partnership

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Library at Home: Housing Authority Partnership

Prince George's County Memorial Library System

Digital Equity and Citizenship | 2021

Innovation Summary

Through a new partnership, PGCMLS provided desktop computers and technical expertise to the Housing Authority of Prince George’s County for community rooms at select affordable housing complexes. This partnership provides high quality devices and stable internet access for residents who may not have personal access to computers or internet.

Problem Statement

PGCMLS and the Housing Authority recognized a shared commitment to addressing the severe impact of the digital divide on our customers and community, with over 116,000 residents lacking home broadband. The lack of serviceable devices and broadband access proved to be a significant challenge for students and adults during the first year of the pandemic. As a public library focused on closing the digital divide gap, we are well suited to help our community and focus on areas with the greatest via strategic partnerships.


Innovation

With a new partnership with the Housing Authority of Prince George’s County, PGCMLS launched a pilot program to provide laptop and desktop computer access to residents in select affordable housing. The primary users of these machines are students who need computer and internet access to support learning.


Progress

We provided seven desktops computers to two community centers, and the Housing Authority provided the internet connections. For Housing Authority students and residents without access to a device or internet at home, these available computers will meet our goal and the Housing Authority’s goal of providing devices and broadband access. The pilot program at two complexes will move to a maximum of six locations and serve as a blueprint for advancing digital equity on a systemic level throughout the county.