One Sioux Falls: Libraries helping provide digital equity in our region

Published: Oct. 4, 2023 at 10:51 AM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Jodi Fick, director of Siouxland Libraries and Emily Harris, Siouxland Libraries librarian, spoke at Wednesday’s One Sioux Falls briefing about what’s being done to increase computer literacy and internet access in the area.

Fick noted that the pandemic brought a heightened awareness of the community’s difficulty in accessing the internet.

In response, Mayor Paul TenHaken created Connect Sioux Falls, which is a collaborative effort to provide digital equity in the region. The group has 30 people looking at the issue. They conducted a study and found that 25,000 homes in the area do not have access to the internet.

The group then developed an approach to address the lack. This has involved making sure people have high-speed internet, devices to access that internet, and knowledge about how to use it.

Schools help to tackle some of the need, and for others in the community, Siouxland Libraries hosts computer classes on using technology.

There are also online classes in both English and Spanish available through the Siouxland Libraries website.

To sign up for the free in-person classes offered at the downtown branch of Siouxland Libraries, you can call the library at 605-367-8700. Those with library cards can register for the class.

Mayor TenHaken issued a proclamation for Digital Inclusion Week, which is Oct. 2-6. The week lifts up solutions for home internet access, personal devices, and digital literacy training and support.