Cobb Public Library system receives grants to aid in narrowing the digital divide

Front of Switzer Library, a brick building with a white columned entranceway

According to a news release from the Cobb County Public Library, the system was awarded two grants to support digital literacy and broadband adoption in the community. 

They were chosen by the Public Library Association (PLA) for Phase II of the Digital Literacy Workshop Incentives program, funded by AT&T. 

This program will allow the library to host workshops to help families and communities improve their digital skills. 

Additionally, the library was selected for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) workshops, which aim to promote broadband adoption. ACP offers discounts on internet and wireless services, as well as equipment such as laptops and tablets. 

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These workshops utilize online digital literacy courses provided by PLA and AT&T, which are available for free through https://DigitalLearn.org and AT&T.

“Public libraries continuously play a vital role in providing digital literacy tools and information to their communities,” said 2022-2023 PLA President Maria McCauley. “The expansion of this powerful collaboration with AT&T for the second year will ensure that even more families and communities can benefit from programs and resources that increase digital access and equity.”

The initiative for the Cobb County Libraries will be led by Stratton Library Manager Patricia Ball. The Digital Literacy grant of $6,000 for CCPL will fund workshops at  Stratton, Switzer, South Cobb and North Cobb libraries in August through December. 

The ACP grant of $1,500 funds  training for Cobb librarians to lead the ACP workshops for families, instructing the families on how to apply for ACP benefits.. 

“Cobb libraries are very intentional – and tireless – in our efforts to push through ‘digital divide’ barriers of broadband access and to support families in becoming confident about their digital skills,” Ball said. “I’m proud to work with the Public Library Association and my Cobb library colleagues to create essential and meaningful impact for the entire Cobb community.”

About the Cobb County Public Library

According to the Cobb County Public Library website:

Cobb County Public Library is a 15-branch system headquartered in Marietta, Georgia, where its staff members serve a diverse population of over 750,000 people. Cobb is one of Georgia’s fastest-growing counties, and Cobb County Public Library is dedicated to being a resource center in the community by providing equal access to information, materials, and services.

History of Cobb’s library system

The first public library in Cobb County was opened in the home of Sarah Freeman Clarke in Marietta. The first standalone library building, opened on Church Street in 1893 and was named for Clarke.

Libraries were opened in Acworth and Austell in subsequent years, and in 1959, the city of Marietta and several other Cobb County libraries combined to form a countywide system that began the Cobb County Public Library as we know it today.

You can read more about the history of the Cobb County Public Library by following this link.

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