Digital Inclusion Resource Collection
The Washington State Library is pleased to provide this portal combining digital inclusion resources developed in Washington State as well as national project information about digital inclusion for libraries and the public. Resources are included that support elements identified by the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) as necessary components to achieving the goal of digital inclusion.
What is Digital Inclusion?
From the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (website): Digital Inclusion refers to the activities necessary to ensure that all individuals and communities, including the most disadvantaged, have access to and use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). This includes 5 elements:
- affordable, robust broadband internet service;
- internet-enabled devices that meet the needs of the user;
- access to digital literacy training;
- quality technical support; and
- applications and online content designed to enable and encourage self-sufficiency, participation and collaboration.
Digital Inclusion must evolve as technology advances. Digital Inclusion requires intentional strategies and investments to reduce and eliminate historical, institutional and structural barriers to access and use technology.
Affordable Internet Service & Devices
NDIA has compiled a list of current offers from ISPs that will help low-income households to acquire service at low or no cost. Most have eligibility limitations linked to income or program enrollment. The list also includes established, nationally available low-cost plans offered by nonprofit organizations. This detailed list was designed to be helpful for digital inclusion practitioners, community leaders, service providers, libraries, media, and others who may give guidance to clients and constituents. It is not designed for distribution to the general public. We encourage an individual looking for low-cost internet service and devices to use EveryoneOn to find specific offers in their zip code for which they might be eligible.
In addition, TechSoup offers low-cost refurbished devices for qualifying non-profits.
Washington State Library has created a Wifi Locations Page that holds a map of public library internet access points just outside the building or facility.
Many libraries offer some level of technical support as part of their 'Ask a librarian' services or general reference. Use WSL's Find a Library tool to find our Washington local public library, or search for 'library' using a map tool like Google Maps, MapQuest, or Apple Maps (iPhone). We are working to put together more focused technical support programs; information will be added here as the project progresses.
Digital Literacy Training
From the American Library Association’s (ALA) Digital Literacy Task Force (which is led by the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy); Digital Literacy is defined as:
… the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, understand, evaluate, create, and communicate digital information, an ability that requires both cognitive and technical skills.
A digitally literate person:
- possesses the variety of skills, cognitive and technical, required to find, understand, evaluate, create, and communicate digital information in a wide variety of formats;
- is able to use diverse technologies appropriately and effectively to search for and retrieve information, interpret search results, and judge the quality of the information retrieved;
- understands the relationships among technology, lifelong learning, personal privacy, and appropriate stewardship of information;
- uses these skills and the appropriate technologies to communicate and collaborate with peers, colleagues, family, and on occasion the general public;
- uses these skills to participate actively in civic society and contribute to a vibrant, informed, and engaged community.
You can find the full report on ALA's District Dispatch
Microsoft LinkedIn Learning Program
Microsoft Digital Literacy is for anyone with basic reading skills who wants to learn the fundamentals of using digital technologies. Through a partnership with Microsoft, the Washington State Library receives funding from the legislature for the Microsoft LinkedIn Learning Program. Building on the skills covered in Microsoft's Digital Literacy courses, online learning resources from the Microsoft Imagine Academy are grouped into 4 learning pathways identified by industry experts as leading to high-demand, future-ready employability; these are productivity, computer science, IT infrastructure, and data science. The Microsoft LinkedIn Learning Program also provides statewide access to LinkedIn Learning, with content from the popular online learning platform, Lynda.com. LinkedIn Learning is accessible with a library card from any Washington public library (including the State Library), via the libraries' website.
Cisco Networking Academy
Through a partnership with Cisco, the Washington State Library provides access to online courses ranging from basic computing to programming and cybersecurity, through the Cisco Networking Academy.
EveryoneOn is powered by Connect2Compete. Connect2Compete aims to eliminate the digital divide by providing high speed, low-cost Internet and computers, and free digital literacy training to all Americans. Learn more at everyoneon.org.
DigitalLearn offers free learning tools to help make technology work for you. Learn more at digitallearn.org.
For almost 20 years, the Goodwill Community Foundation (GCF)'s GCFLearnFree.org program has helped millions around the world learn the essential skills they need to live and work in the 21st century. From Microsoft Office and email, to reading, math, and more—GCFLearnFree.org offers more than 200 topics, including more than 2,000 lessons, more than 1,000 videos, and more than 50 interactives and games, completely free.
Digital Public Library of America
The DPLA planning initiative grew out of an October 2010 meeting at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, which brought together over 40 representatives from foundations, research institutions, cultural organizations, government, and libraries to discuss best approaches to building a national digital library. Learn more at dp.la
For more information about the WSL's support of digital inclusion, please contact:
We encourage your feedback. If you have comments or suggestions, please use our feedback form
Funded in part by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).