IE 11 Not Supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Library Tackles Digital Divide for Kids, Seniors

Library distributed tech bundles containing computer, WiFi hotspot, mouse and flash drive.


The Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Library (CHPL) — which operates 41 regional and branch locations in Hamilton County, Ohio — developed a sustainable digital learning model for school-age and senior constituent participants. The project was done in collaboration with Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC). The organizations combined their strengths and assets to adapt, create and deliver synchronous and asynchronous virtual experiences (SAVEs).


The project focused on five diverse communities with low digital access. The project enabled efficiencies in service and in how technology can be purchased, distributed and used, while simultaneously curating content that is useful for participants.

During the first year of the project, CHPL created fifty “Tech Bundles,” each of which included a Chromebook, Wi-Fi hotspot, wired mouse, flash drive, headset and carrying case for distribution to families and senior constituents in the targeted neighborhoods through neighborhood branch libraries. During the second year of the project, bundles included a workforce development focus and provided laptops with interview accessories such as halo lamps for appropriate lighting and high-quality headsets.

CMC created and made available more than 246 virtual programs, field trips and story times that reached more than 56,000 school-age participants. There were more than 27 programs developed for senior constituents, reaching more than 3,000 participants.


The district recommends the following actions:

  • Convene a group of stakeholders who can help develop in-roads with communities that need to be served. This project created an advisory board of key advocates to connect the project and its goals with community needs and formal and informal networks.
  • Ensure one partner has the appropriate infrastructure, expertise on the fundamentals of technology procurement and training, and a means of distributing to communities contending with digital access issues. CHPL was able to meet these requirements.
  • Ensure one partner is adept at digital content creation and distribution that emphasizes the focus of the project. CMC was well suited to this task.