Technology for All lends laptops to Burlington families

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VESTAMPTON. Although schools are gradually accepting students in person, the Burlington County Library System (BCLS) continues to provide work laptops for families in need.

The Library Foundation has relaunched the Technology for All project to help bridge the digital divide. BCLS Foundation President Pat Lindsey-Harvey says COVID-19 “accelerated what we wanted to do because we knew there were several families in Burlington County that didn’t have Internet devices. Education for all, electronics for all. “

Since the start of the pandemic, the library has been able to provide five laptops to five different families. Lindsay-Harvey says some of the difficulties they faced include “finding families during COVID due to the closure of some social services and receiving donations that were not in good working order.”

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The library recently received a grant to allow families without internet access to rent hotspots, but Lindsay-Harvery says more work needs to be done to bridge the digital divide.

“When schools closed during COVID, they lent out Chromebooks, but now that most schools are back online, families have had to turn in those Chromebooks,” she said. “So we’re back to the same problem again, that some families are still without devices.”

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BCLS encourages people to bring their work laptops to the Main Library on Saturday, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. The library is located on Woodlane Road in Westhampton.

“We emphasize that the equipment must still work,” she said. “These laptops can truly make a difference in the lives of many recipients, and we hope Burlington County residents will again help us with this collection business.”

Katie Assaf, a New York University graduate student of multimedia, is an intern for Burlington County Times, Daily Journal and Courier-Post. Contact her at kassaf@gannett.com or on Twitter @kaitythekite.

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