Meeting the Digital Divide

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September 2, 2020

Library & Community Services Director, Kristan Lundquist, announced today receipt of a grant in the amount of $50,000 from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fund of the Community Foundation of Monterey County for a new program called "Meeting the Digital Divide."

"We realize the community need for equity in digital access is so great, and as the library, we want to participate in supporting our students and bridging the divide," says Ms. Lundquist, who reached out to the Monterey County Office of Education back in June and directed staff to apply for grants to address the digital divide in Salinas. These funds will go toward providing hotspots and computers to students in four schools in the Salinas City Elementary School District: El Gabilan, Los Padres, Roosevelt and Sherwood Elementary. "While we wish we could help everyone, these schools were selected because we already partner with them to provide homework help and seamless access to our collection and digital resources through our SMA+RT program, Salinas Makes A+ Readers Together. The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fund continues to show their generosity and support for our library system, and we are extremely grateful."

While the majority of these funds will be utilized to provide internet hotspots, this award is one of several funding sources the library is pursuing to increase internet and digital access for Salinas students and parents in a project called "Meeting the Digital Divide."  If fully funded, the project would include four major components: 1) working with the four selected elementary schools to identify students who are without internet access and providing hotspots and Chromebooks for parents to also obtain computer literacy instruction;  2) purchasing refurbished computers for parents who complete the Library's computer literacy program; 3) providing Chromebooks and laptops at our libraries that can be borrowed by library cardholders, once we reopen; and 4) providing hotspots that can be borrowed by library cardholders. These grant funds will focus on reaching elementary school children, and adding a library hotspots lending service in the near future for our community. 

For more information, please contact Community Education Manager, Ernesto Lizaola, by email at ernestol [at] (,) or by telephone at (831) 758-7229.