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ARPA Awards for Southeastern Members 2021 - 2022: Regional Digital Inclusion Projects

Funding Area: Digital Inclusion Projects

A woman helps two men at a computer$342,487 of the ARPA grant funds have been allocated for projects aimed at "advancing digital inclusion in collaboration with public library systems and public libraries".

Southeastern is implementing two projects in partnership with the Mid-Hudson Library System and the Ramapo Catskill Library System. The selected projects will empower Hudson Valley libraries with new tools to reach residents in need of technology services. These projects include The Digital Navigators of the Hudson Valley Project and The Beyond the Library WiFi Access Project. See the boxes below for more details.

Questions? Contact: arpa@senylrc.org

The Digital Navigators of the Hudson Valley Project

The Digital Navigators of the Hudson Valley project will train workers at libraries and community-based organizations to provide resources for them to have the capacity to offer Digital Navigator services in their libraries.

Digital Navigators are "trusted guides who assist community members in internet adoption and the use of computing devices. Digital navigation services include ongoing assistance with affordable internet access, device acquisition, technical skills, and application support". -- National Digital Inclusion Alliance

Digital navigators assist anyone in need with using a device, securing free or low-cost internet service, and much more. This service is free.

Digital navigators can help you connect to low-cost internet service and learn to use a device so you can:

  • Find ways to purchase low-cost phones or computers
  • Find resources for housing and submit online applications
  • Manage healthcare, including: telehealth visits, patient portals, and other information
  • Locate food resources
  • Make a resume and fill out online job applications
  • Make video calls with family and friends
  • Connect with public information like local government meetings
  • Apply for services and benefits such as SNAP, Medicaid, and more
  • Access educational services, such as remote learning opportunities or connecting to a child’s school portal          
  • Deal with daily life tasks such as online grocery shopping or paying bills

Learn more at www.hvconnected.org

The Beyond the Library WiFi Access Project

vector graphic of network symbolThe Beyond the Library WiFi Access project will extend the wireless internet signal at participating libraries to reach up to 300 feet beyond the walls of the library. In more densely populated neighborhoods, the WiFi may extend beyond library property into nearby homes and businesses.

Resources for Digital Inclusion

New york state library logoAre you ready to increase your awareness and understanding of digital inclusion? The New York State Library and National Digital Inclusion Alliance are holding a 6-part webinar training series, Digital Inclusion: What Every Library Needs to Know, that begins in November. These sessions are an excellent opportunity to start your journey to becoming a Digital Navigator.

Check out our Libguide page for descriptions and a registration link for each training.

Southeastern NY Library Resources Council
21 South Elting Corners Road | Highland, NY 12528
Phone: (845) 883-9065
www.senylrc.org