Live Oak Public Libraries (LOPL) has expanded public computer and Internet access. Patrons who visit any of the 16 libraries in Chatham, Effingham, and Liberty counties may now more easily reserve and use a public computer and Internet services. Patrons can visit their local library, proceed to any service desk, and simply request a computer reservation from library staff.
“This expansion of services reduces barriers to access computers and the Internet, meeting the needs of library users who do not currently hold PINES library cards,” stated Beatrice Saba, Live Oak Public Libraries Director of Library Services.
Live Oak Public Libraries provide more than 350 public computers, annually hosting more than 356,000 public computer sessions and 94,000 public wireless internet connections for library patrons using their own personal device.
“We are very pleased to expand public access to computers and Internet services,” said Charlotte Welch, Chair of the Live Oak Public Libraries Regional Board of Trustees.“We are fully committed to the Libraries’ Computer and Internet Policy which grants access to computer and Internet resources equally to all library patrons,” Welsh added.
Live Oak Public Libraries is in compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act with all Internet access filtered by the Georgia Public Library Service. All computer and Internet users are required to accept the terms and conditions of Live Oak Public Libraries Computer and Internet Policy prior to obtaining computer and Internet access.
“We are dedicated to addressing the digital divide, the differences between those who have ready access to computers and the Internet, and those who do not,” stated Tom Sloan, Library Executive Director. “The library offers programs and services such as computer training, coding courses, job resources, online research and homework help, as well as digital resources for e-books, e-audiobooks, and video,” Sloan said.
According to the Pew Research Center, the disparity in online access creates a “homework gap,” or the gap between school-age children who have access to high-speed internet at home and those who don’t. Some 5 million school-age children do not have a broadband internet connection at home, with low-income households accounting for a disproportionate share.