The “Stay Home and Support the Library” non-event was a great success for the second year in a row! When the original fundraising goal of $30,000 was reached by mid-September, we challenged donors to help reach a stretch goal of $40,000. We are excited to announce that donations totaled more than $47,000 to support DeKalb County Public Library’s (DCPL) Take the Internet Home with You initiative. These funds will allow DCPL to increase the number of hotspots available for checkout to more than 300 devices which will help almost 4,000 patrons each year.
The Take the Internet Home with You initiative was launched in 2017 as an effort to bridge the digital divide for DeKalb County citizens who may not have home internet access. It enables a patron to check out a hotspot device for 21 days. Devices are in high demand with patrons waiting at the circulation desk for their return.
The COVID-19 pandemic exposed just how vast the digital gap is in our community. Patrons report to us they need this service now more than ever. The hotspots help them stay connected to school resources, search for jobs, access healthcare information, and remain connected to the world around them.
“We have been using the program for two years. If we didn’t have it, life would be unbearable. I have two school age sons. When the pandemic hit, we wouldn’t have been able to access school without it. I’m grateful that DeKalb County has this program.” – Zeta C.
“There are many of us out here that are underserved and the library helps to bridge this gap. What the library does is empowering. We depend on it. We are so thankful for all you do.” – Lelita T.
“I am a senior who is going back to college. The signal in my assisted living community isn’t very strong. I use the hotspot for research and video calls. I love the service.” – Barbara M.