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September 25, 2022

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Digital Seniors Project Underway at Marianna Black Library

The Fontana Regional Library, including the Marianna Black Library, in Bryson City, has received Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant funds to help address the digital divide experienced by senior citizens in our region. The Digital Seniors Project is now on its way and seniors in Swain County have already signed up to checkout a Chromebook laptop and Verizon jetpack from the library. This LSTA grant also funds a trainer to go to the homes of seniors, or training can be completed in the library.

This project addresses the digital divide as it is experienced by senior citizens who lack access to the internet, who do not have digital skills, or who may not recognize the benefits of internet connectivity. The goal is to provide seniors with both the technology (including internet connectivity) and the skills they need to use digital devices to explore the internet in a way that is meaningful to them on an individual basis. The Library will provide initial home set-up and ongoing one-on-one instruction on using a Chromebook and wi-fi hotspot that participants check out for the duration of the grant period.

These grant awards are made possible by funding from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under the provisions of the Library Services and

Technology Act (LSTA) as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (IMLS grant number LS-250229-OLS-21). LSTA grants are awarded in response to specific needs of public, academic, and community college libraries. These federal funds are investments that help libraries deliver relevant and up-to-date services to their communities.

The Marianna Black Library, a member of the Fontana Regional Library, is located in Downtown Bryson City at the corner of Academy and Rector. For more information on the Digital Senior Program please call the library 488-3030.

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