Digital divide exists in Ohio


By Nicole Fowles - Glad You Asked



As things are changing so swiftly these days, Ohioans are more plugged in now than ever. We’re working on whatever devices we have with whatever internet access we have – whether it’s great or spotty at best.

In his daily updates at 2 p.m., Gov. Mike DeWine has given several shout-outs to Ohio libraries. He’s applauded our online storytimes and mentioned the new collaborative calendar of library digital programming created by the State Library of Ohio. Most recently, he has mentioned internet access.

Unfortunately, the “digital divide” is real, and the reality is not everyone has internet access and other technical amenities inside their homes.

While our library branches are not currently open, and have no plans to re-open until at least May 4, our internet is still on. In fact, in most Delaware County District Library locations, our wi-fi signal is so strong that it reaches into the nearby parking lots.

In the past, I have frequently seen people sitting in their cars in our library parking lots before or after regular library hours using the wireless signal. On one unique occasion, I even saw someone with their own lawn chair and laptop sitting on the sidewalk by our front entrance, just casually working outside, but still benefiting from our free wi-fi.

While we can’t provide laptops or other devices, we hope that you’ll visit our parking lots if you need to conduct business online. Whether it’s filing taxes, filling out your census form, or simply scrolling through social media, our internet is here for you.

If you’re celebrating a holiday this weekend – Easter, Passover, Ramadan, or just the beginning of spring – I hope you and your loved ones have a joyous celebration, digitally or in the comfort of your own home. Enjoy some books from Hoopla to download and read or listen to with the kids.

• “Pete the Cat: Big Easter Adventure” by James Dean. When Pete wakes up on Easter morning, he finds that the Easter Bunny needs his help! Read along to find out if Pete can help the Easter Bunny before Easter is over!

• “Pinkalicious: Eggstraordinary Easter” by Victoria Kann. When Pinkalicious wakes up on Easter morning, she finds a note from Edgar Easter Bunny that sends the Pinkerton family on an eggciting Easter scavenger hunt!

• “The Berenstain Bears: The Very First Easter” by Jan and Mike Berenstain. Join the Bear cubs as they learn all about Jesus’ final days on Earth and the celebration of his resurrection. From Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem to the last supper to his first appearance on Easter morning, Mama, Papa, Brother, Sister, and Honey discover the story of the very first Easter.

• “Passover is Coming” by Tracy Newman. Readers join a cute family and their dog as they prepare for and celebrate the spring holiday of Passover, cleaning the house, making matzah ball soup, assembling the seder plate, saying the Four Questions, and looking for the afikomen at the end of the seder.

• “Hassan and Aneesa Love Ramadan” by Yasmeen Rahim and Omar Burgess. It is the night before Ramadan and Hassan and Aneesa are excited for it to begin. In Ramadan they will read the Qur’an, give charity, share food with neighbours and try to fast.

• “Holi Colors” by Rina Singh. Experience Holi with every color of the rainbow! This Hindu celebration known as the festival of colors and the festival of love signifies the end of winter, the arrival of spring and the victory of good over evil. A time to laugh, play, visit friends and get messy!

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By Nicole Fowles

Glad You Asked

If you have a question that you would like to see answered in this column, mail it to Nicole Fowles, Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015, or call us at 740-362-3861. You can also email your questions by visiting the library’s web site at www.delawarelibrary.org or directly to Nicole at nfowles@delawarelibrary.org. No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked!

If you have a question that you would like to see answered in this column, mail it to Nicole Fowles, Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015, or call us at 740-362-3861. You can also email your questions by visiting the library’s web site at www.delawarelibrary.org or directly to Nicole at nfowles@delawarelibrary.org. No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked!