Striving for equity in internet access and online services
According to the City of Seattle's 2017 Digital Equity Report, 29% of Seattle parents who only have internet access via smartphone or tablet report hitting data limits that limited their access; 24% had their phones cut off for nonpayment.
- We continue to expand access to technology and the internet for people in Seattle. Our SPL HotSpot program provides 975 Wi-Fi hotspots that can be checked out to provide internet access anywhere. We also reserve 50 hotspots to be distributed at homeless encampments for longer periods.
- All of our 27 locations have free public Wi-Fi and computers with internet access for our patrons to use. We also loan tablets and laptops for patrons to use in the Library, lowering the barrier to technology access for many who may not be able to use these resources elsewhere.
- We launched our redesigned website spl.org in April, 2018. Our goal was to make our website accessible to as many people as possible and meet at least level AA conformance to web content accessibility, which we achieved.
The Race & Social Justice Initiative change team assigned a small work team to help guide the website redesign project. This team developed an equity impact statement for the project, which was central to all design decisions. This work team was instrumental in defining needs for public input, testing and language support.
We added web content in several key languages to serve speakers of other languages in Seattle and added the ability to auto-translate into all “tier one” languages identified by the city of Seattle.