Texas State Library and Archives Commission Definition of Digital Inclusion

We define digital inclusion as the ability of individuals to access and use information and communication technologies (ICTs). Digital inclusion is achieved through affordable, robust Internet services, digital literacy skills, quality technical support, access to hardware and software, and opportunities for resources and services that augment inclusion efforts.

Libraries are Partners in the Digital Inclusion Effort

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) and staff believe all people have the right to barrier-free access to library and information services that meet personal, educational and professional needs.  This guiding philosophy is at the heart of digital inclusion and the core of the professional mission of library services.

Libraries work towards digital inclusive communities through access and engagement efforts:

Access

  • Libraries provide high-speed internet access to ensure community connectivity to online resources for multiple literacies, workforce readiness and social inclusion.
  • Libraries receive quality technical support to maintain public access to hardware and software that underpins the library’s digital inclusion efforts.
  • Library staff receive continuous training in digital skills and digital literacies to assist in digital inclusion efforts.

Engagement

  • Libraries commit to identify underserved communities and eliminate digital inclusion barriers.
  • Libraries prioritize digital inclusion efforts to advance the delivery of library services and improve the quality of and access to library and information services.
  • Library staff assist users in building their own digital literacy skills to reach individual goals and participate in civic life.

TSLAC Commitment to Digital Inclusion

The TSLAC vision states that Texans will have access to information they need to live informed, productive lives. We are committed to developing the ongoing growth of local library capacity to serve as community hubs for technology and digital inclusion[1] and will do so through five focus areas:

  1. Awareness
  • Identify and propose solutions to topple institutional and societal barriers to access as an effort to close the digital divide.
  • Support and communicate programming which targets services to underserved urban and rural communities and libraries.
  1. Broadband
  • Secure local and federal government support, partnerships and tools in support of technology planning, such as Libraries Connecting Texas and the Edge Assessment.
  • Provide knowledge and expertise for library staff via resources, tools and consultation with TSLAC staff.
  1. Digital Literacy Skills
  • Assist library staff with proactive technology training, such as the You Can Do IT program.
  • Provide responsive consulting, resources, and tools in the areas of emerging technology and library technology.
  1. Funding
  • Promote, investigate and award grants supporting local initiatives for digital equity and inclusion.
  1. Hardware and Software
  • Provide software for patron access of library digital content and services at a cost-savings for libraries, such as Ploud website-hosting.
  • Provide shared online resources for patrons at a cost-savings for libraries, such as TexShare and TexQuest.
  • Provide services that assist libraries in collection sharing for patrons at a cost-savings, such as Interlibrary Loan Navigator.
  • Provide free library services for Texans with blindness or visual, physical, or reading disabilities through Braille and Audio Recordings Download (BARD), available from the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped via TSLAC’s Talking Book Program.
  • Sustain and grow the Texas Digital Archive, a central depository of state government information for use by Texans in all parts of the state.

[1] Goal 6 of TSLAC’s 2019-2023 Agency Strategic Plan: https://tinyurl.com/y9gz72y6

Page last modified: May 11, 2020