With Federal Gov’t Funding, The Enoch Pratt Free Library Can Quickly Tackle Baltimore’s Digital Divide

What’s happening?

With a request to use 1% of Baltimore City’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, The Enoch Pratt Free Library submitted a proposal that would cut eight years off its 10-year plan to provide internet access and digital literacy programs to residents to address Baltimore City’s digital divide. 

“The federal rescue plan funding is a once in a lifetime opportunity to invest in library infrastructure,” Meghan McCorkell, director of marketing and communications for the Enoch Pratt Free Library, told Technical.ly Baltimore. 

What exactly do they plan to do with the money? 

Some of their plans include opening two teen centers featuring 3D printers and audio-video recording equipment, restructuring computer labs to operate more like coworking spaces, and hiring digital literacy professionals to help residents navigate online resources for food support, rent, education, employment, childcare, and government benefits.

Anything else I should know? 

Here’s a link to the full proposal. Library officials are waiting for approval from the mayor. And you can read more from Techical.ly Baltimore here


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