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1372 - 1/11/2024 3:10:02 PM  

Library Connections: Reducing Digital Inequities in our Community

For Immediate Release - January 11, 2024

The Guelph Public Library, in partnership with the Guelph Wellington Digital Equity Coalition (GWDEC), are proud recipients of $105,085 in funding through the Government of Canada’s Community Services Recovery Fund, administered locally by United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin.  

Funding will support the Guelph-Wellington Digital Equity Coalition’s: Reducing Pandemic-Driven Digital Inequalities project.

The Community Services Recovery Fund is a one-time $400 million investment from the Government of Canada to support community service organizations, including charities, non-profits and Indigenous governing bodies, as they adapt their organizations for pandemic recovery.

GWDEC is a collaboration between 14 local organizations as well as volunteer community members. The “Reducing Digital Inequities” project will support all coalition organizations as they work together to strengthen their capacity to provide required technologies, crucial training and adapt service models to respond to the immediate and long-term digital impacts of the pandemic in our community.

As the lead on this project, funding has provided the Guelph Public Library with the ability to:

Hire a dedicated six-month Digital Equity Assistant position to facilitate the GWDEC to explore and implement solutions to increase digital access across the community.

Develop a new Digital Skill Building collection to provide equity deserving community members access to digital devices and learning opportunities through the GWDEC.

• Assist in the creation of digital skill building programs and provide training/instruction to coalition members, or their clients, through the library.

“The projects supported by the Government of Canada through the Community Services Recovery Fund demonstrate that we are a caring and compassionate society that values the well-being of all its members. It is heartening to see the compassion and empathy of our citizens as they give back to those in need. Projects like the Guelph Public Library and the Guelph Wellington Digital Equity Coalition are a testament to the power of our collective action and our ability to come together to make a positive difference in the world. I am confident that together we can make a meaningful impact on the lives of those in Guelph, Ontario.” - Jenna Sudds, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

On behalf of Guelph Public Library Board and staff, the library is thankful for this funding to continue connecting people to the necessary tools and skills they require to explore, connect, and thrive.

About the Guelph Public Library (GPL):  Guelph Public Library helps build a thriving community every single day to ensure free, inclusive and equitable access to lifelong learning opportunities for all that enrich, improve, and transform lives. Open to everyone, the library welcomes people of all ages, abilities, backgrounds and socioeconomic status’. The GPL strengthens people and neighbourhoods by providing endless ways for community members to explore their world, enhance their well-being, and connect with others. 

About the Guelph Wellington Digital Equity Coalition (GWDEC): The Guelph Wellington Digital Equity Coalition (GWDEC) was formed in 2021 (with the Guelph Public Library as a founding member) as a result of the massive increase in demand for access to digital devices, connection and digital skill training across Guelph Wellington during the COVID-19 pandemic. The GWDEC works to address digital inequalities, identify barriers for those seeking digital access and training, and to develop expanded offerings that meet unique community needs to encourage equity and inclusion in the digital economy. 

About the Community Services Recovery Fund:  The Community Services Recovery Fund is a $400 million investment from the Government of Canada to support community service organizations, including charities, non-profits and Indigenous governing bodies, as they adapt and modernize their organizations.


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