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Baltimore Library Gives Out Free Chromebooks, Closes Digital Divide

By Sean Streicher

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    BALTIMORE, Maryland (WJZ) — Some families in Baltimore received free Chromebooks from the Orleans Street branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library on Saturday.

D’ara Lemon picked up one for her daughter.

“This is very important,” Lemon said. “This is closing the digital divide, also opening kids up to the world of technology. Not a lot of kids have access to these types of resources so this is definitely a blessing.”

In partnership with the Baltimore Digital Equity Coalition, Dell Technologies donated 1,000 Chromebook to the library. The first 60 were given out Saturday.

“With the devices families can do simple things like do their homework, apply for jobs,” Maia Wagner, digital inclusion portfolio lead at Dell, said. “Oftentimes a device is the one thing preventing families from fully participating in their community.”

Additionally, the Enoch Pratt Library is providing ways to access the internet, and a digital training program for children, teens, and families makes sure they know how to use the device and access library services online.

“We can provide access to the actual device but it doesn’t matter if they don’t know how to use it,” said Meghan McCorkell, a marketing and communications director for the Enoch Pratt Free Library.

The Chromebook will provide families in Baltimore with an important tool to access vital information.

“Here at the Pratt Library, our mission is to provide access,” McCorkell said. “That may be to books and information or a device like this. I think a device like that to a family that doesn’t have one can be life-changing.”

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