Dr. McClure focuses on the veto's negative impact on the collaborative efforts of Florida libraries to help customers, especially in rural counties, to get across the digital divide—this in a time when all of the state's own social services, including unemployment assistance, are now only available online.
We have discussed the digital divide implications between rural and urban/suburban settings noting how rural public libraries struggle to provide adequate broadband and information technology (IT) support. The Public Library Funding and Technology Access Study (PLFTAS) data demonstrate this struggle. Recent events in Florida suggest that strategies to reduce the rural digital divide – or at least the role that libraries can play in reducing that divide – will remain difficult....Please read and share the whole blog post.
While the $1.5 million veto may not sound like much money, the pain likely will be felt disproportionately in rural areas since many of the rural libraries depend on their MLC for a range of IT access, training, and support. As part of this blog, I interviewed a number of Florida public librarians for their assessment of the veto on the digital divide in Florida.